- Stacy London was here. (Photo courtesy Mayer Fine Art)
Lenny Campello has never watched "What Not to Wear." So when a fashionable woman approached him at the Mayer Fine Art booth in New York's Affordable Art Fair about buying one of his drawings, he simply began to prepare her paperwork.
"The gallery owner here showing my work, Shelia, she's looking at Stacy like, 'Do I know you from somewhere?'" says Campello. "The entire time, I have no idea who she is."
Campello later learned his buyer's identity when he was swarmed by women at the fair asking him if he had just sold a drawing to Stacy London, ohmigod. Turns out, she of the gray streak and the catchphrase "Shut up!" is a frequent patron of the Affordable Art Fair (in which all works have a price cap of $10,000), and buys work there every year, Campello learned from the fair's director. Though London has ties to D.C. – She looked disapprovingly at this TBD reporter's shoes while on a shopping crawl through the city to promote a boutique styling business she launched here – Campello said she was unaware of the local connection.
"Apparently, she has a long wall in her Brooklyn apartment that she's slowly filling with artwork," says Campello. "She buys art because she likes it. Someone said she's comfortable picking out clothes for people, but with artwork, she goes with her gut."
Campello didn't take a photograph of the drawing he sold to her, but he described it as a thin, vertical charcoal drawing about 19 inches tall, with two lines descending from the top of the paper to make a swing, with a female figure sitting on it. He can trade stories about his celebrity collectors with Michael Enn Sirvet, who TBD reported sold artwork to Michael Jordan earlier this year. But it's not the artist's first unwitting encounter with a celebrity collector: Years ago, he also encountered TV anchor Bryant Gumbel at an art fair, and didn't realize it.
"A lot of the people on TV, you visualize them one way, and then the person is short or whatever," says Campello. "He seemed to be really interested in this artwork, and he seemed off-put by the fact that I had no idea who he was. And a woman said, 'You know this is Bryant Gumbel right?' He was haggling, and [once I learned his identity], I should've said, 'Why are we haggling, then?' [London] was very private, this was the opposite."
But even though he now knows the name Stacy London, Campello isn't too inclined to watch her show – he's busy at the fair the next few days selling other work including a video installation about Frida Kahlo. "Anytime anyone buys my artwork, I feel honored," he says.