Trump, Omarosa and National Enquirer know the art of the deal

It was a deal Omarosa Manigault couldn't refuse when Donald Trump asked her to be his race-baiting campaign's director of African-American outreach in July.

Sources tell Confidenti@l that when Omarosa's brother, Jack Manigault, was killed in 2011, the reality TV diva considered suing The National Enquirer over its "exclusive print" coverage of the tragedy and its aftermath.

Instead, Donald Trump reached out to his good pal David Pecker at American Media Inc., which owns The National Enquirer, and the two hammered out a deal, according to insiders.

"Trump negotiated a two-year, six-figure deal for her with American Media, which included Omarosa becoming the West Coast editor of the (now) defunct Reality magazine," we're told.

The source went on to say that when OK magazine established a West Coast office, Manigault became an editor there, earning another six figures. She also made several TV appearances on behalf of American Media.

It's obvious that The Donald respects Manigault's ability to hold her own. In addition to casting her on the first season of "The Apprentice," Trump produced "The Ultimate Merger" on TV One with her as the star.

Earlier this month, Manigault headlined a political rally at Antioch Road to Glory Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she was joined by other prominent African-American "Trumpets" including Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson.

When called for comment, Trump's lawyer Michael D. Cohen insisted "Mr. Trump has no knowledge of this matter and was not involved in any negotiation between Omarosa Manigault and The National Enquirer."

American Media boss Pecker also denied the report.

"We were pleased to work with Omarosa, who was a very talented and skilled editor, but the suggestion that Donald Trump had any involvement in any kind of 'deal' to keep her from suing AMI is completely and totally false," he echoed.

Manigault, who had little if any experience as an editor in print journalism before teaming with AMI, would only say "Donald Trump was incredibly supportive of me when my brother was murdered in cold blood and he's been an incredible friend. That's all I will say about that."

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Natural beauty! Alicia Keys goes makup free in striped turban as she joins husband Swizz Beatz at art show

Alicia Keys left her makeup at home again and looked amazing as she accompanied her husband Swizz Beatz to an art exhibition he held Sunday in New York City.

The 35-year-old singer and 37-year-old music producer, who celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary last month, both dressed summer casual for the showcase, which was formally dubbed No Commission: Art Performs.

The Girl on Fire stunner wore a lacy white blouse with white pants, sunglasses, a patterned head wrap, an ornate sliver necklace and large hoop earrings.

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Barefaced and loving it: Alicia Keys, 35, shined without makeup at a New York City art exhibition Sunday, as the singer earlier t his summer penned a powerful essay promoting self-esteem and confidence - without the mascara or blush

Beatz wore a striped black-and-white polo shirt with grey shorts and a dark baseball cap. 

The Empire State of Mind singer, whose full name is Alicia Augello Cook, has made a bold fashion statement in recent months, going without makeup for a more natural look she pulls off to perfection.

In addition to public appearances such as Sunday's exhibition, Keys has shown off her natural look on the cover of Fault magazine and in promotional materials for her single In Common.

Artsy: The singer poses with artist Marcus Jahmal (center) and husband Swizz Beatz, who helped organize the event

Selfie time: The couple celebrated their sixth anniversary last month and from the looks of this shot, the marriage is a very happy one

Keep on movin': The couple enjoy the summer day seated in a cart 

The No One singer, in an essay published May 31 on Lenny Letter, explained how she used to rely on makeup, and how it struck the core of her self-esteem from she was a young girl to a Grammy-winning music star.

'Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn't put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it???' the Fallin' beauty wrote in the letter. 

'These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking.'

Queen of the Big Apple: The Grammy-winning songbird cuts a pretty pose at the event

The turning point came, Keys said, when photographer Paola Kudacki, who was taking shots for her upcoming album, insisted she take a few without makeup, and the results left her feeling empowered and ready to re-emerge, au naturel.

'It was just a plain white background, me and the photographer intimately relating, me and that baseball hat and scarf and a bunch of invisible magic circulating,' Keys said. 'And I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.'

Dueling beauties: Keys poses with stunning photographer Delphine Diallo, whose work was on display at the showcase

Keys, who went on to use the image as art for her single In Common, said the experience moved her, and that she hopes she can set a trend for women to embrace their imperfections and blemishes without reaching for their mascara.

She wrote, 'I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.'

Earlier visitors to the display, which began Thursday, included models Karrueche Tran, Chanel Iman and Coco Rocha, WWD reported. 

Not a drop: Keys nailed it appearing on the cover of Fault magazine au natural earlier this summer

Swagger: Keys, who will be a regular on NBC's The Voice in its upcoming 11th season, wasn't lacking for confidence as she posed makeup-free at the BET Awards in June

Prominent personalities in attendance Sunday included photographer Delphine Diallo and artist Marcus Jahmal, both of whom displayed their work. Other artists featured in the summer showcase included Sandra Chevrier, Hassan Hajjaj, Todd James, Kajahl and Zio Ziegler.

Officials with The Dean Collection, which sponsored the event with Bacardi, described it as an 'immersive experience where art and music collide,' with the intent 'to forge a direct link between artists' practices and art patronage.'

The showcase was one 'designed specifically to support artists,' with no charge for exhibition spaces and all of the sales proceeds going 'directly to the artists,' the organization said.

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David Leffel At The Frederick Weisman Museum Of Art

David Leffel's recent retrospective exhibition, which was on view at the Frederick Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University between May 14th and August 7th, was, in the artist's own words; "a visual expression of the journey I call 'learning to paint.'" Leffel's journey, towards a Rembrandtian style that explores the inherently abstract underpinnings of representational painting, has been in opposition to modernism, which rejects the kinds of hard-won visual truths that he has found beautiful and essential.  

Photo: The Frederick Weisman Museum

David A. Leffel: the Mastery of Light (Installation View)

Curated by Michael Zakian, the Weisman's Director, Leffel's exhibition opened a month after the closing of Andy Warhol: Life and Legends, a show of prints that have a nearly antithetical set of values from Leffel's. The bookending of the two shows—a carefully considered juxtaposition—was a stroke of brilliance on the part of Michael Zakian, who offered his audience the opportunity to witness two wildly divergent artistic careers that also have some subtle connections and overlaps.

Photo: The Frederick Weisman Museum

Andy Warhol: Life and Legends (Installation View)

Warhol and his art are widely known, but Zakian, who is the author of a new book on Leffel—David A. Leffel: The Mastery of Light— makes a strong argument that Leffel also deserves his moment in the spotlight: "Today he (David Leffel) stands as one of the founders of the contemporary realist art movement," Zakian writes in the book's introduction, "and as someone whose work is revered throughout the nation and beyond." If you value art that comments on the era in which it was made you are likely going to always prefer Warhol, but if you value the idea of painting as a long, deep conversation with tradition, then Zakian has a point to make. 

Photo: Alexey Steele

Michael Zakian (left) and David Leffel (right)

Born within three years of each other—Warhol in 1928, Leffel in 1931—both were the sons of Eastern European immigrant families, both dealt with difficult childhood illnesses and both began their careers as commercial artists. Leffel's differences from Warhol—his adherence to Old Master techniques and subjects, his commitment to skill and his disconnect from contemporary culture—are what make his retrospective both challenging and perplexing. 

Leffel's retrospective offered, at it's best, the chance to see paintings by an artist whose mesmerizing command of technique has taken decades to develop. The exhibition's weakness, which is that Leffel's work is so doggedly rooted in past traditions and idioms, is directly interwoven with its strengths.

© David A. Leffel

Two Self-Portraits by David Leffel, from 1958 (left) and 1959 (right)

Two Self-Portraits Leffel made in the late 1950s, when he began to pursue painting seriously, show how in the course of a single year he veered from the influence of a Modernist (Modigliani) towards an Old Master (Rembrandt), a change in course that he has never looked back from. 

© David A. Leffel

David Leffel, 45th Street Studio, 1968, oil on canvas

Leffel's paintings have, for more than five decades, maintained a conversation with Rembrandt, so much so that it is tempting to dismiss Leffel as an epigone, the less-distinguished follower of a much-venerated master. Leffel's paintings have Rembrandt-style lighting—strong directional lighting with cast shadows and reflections—and the flickering impasto of their surfaces is very much an homage to the Dutch Master's varied and incomparable brushwork. 

© David A. Leffel

David Leffel, Tony Reyna, 2013, oil on canvas, 20 x 17 inches

When applied to a portrait that needs to emanate dignity—as in his portrait Tony Reyna, a revered member of the Taos community—Leffel's neo-Baroque lighting offers the necessary solemnity. WIth its soft edges and sensitive attention to lighting, color and brushwork, this painting exemplifies Leffel's laudable capabilities as a portraitist. Some other works in the Weisman Museum show—for example a wedding portrait rocker of John Cougar Mellencamp and his bride—lack the sense of purpose and clarity of mood present in the Reyna portrait. The Wedding comes across as a pastiche with an indefinite mood. 

© David A. Leffel

David Leffel, The Beauty of the Dance, 2013, oil on canvas, 32 x 26 inches

Leffel's best works are his recent still life paintings. In these works, Leffel's acute sense of materiality and his ability to manipulate oil paint come on strong, allowing him to achieve strikingly tender effects of space and surface. Leffel's still lifes, seen at close hand, have a genuine poetry and revelatory visual power. Seeing the insistent abstractness of Leffel's brushwork in person offers up some compelling questions about how representational painting works now and how it worked in the past. His brushwork is, simply put, masterful. 

© David A. Leffel

Beauty of the Dance (detail)

"When I a completely by myself in the studio," writes Leffel, "in a state of attentive waiting—to paint, to learn—there is a great sense of being alone but not isolated." Leffel's deep connections to the art of the past challenge the powerful notion that art must be married to "progress." He and his art find connection in a kind of beauty that most contemporary artists no longer acknowledge. If you don't care for Leffel's work, or for his orientation, you can at least think of him as beautifully, even gloriously, out of touch.

David Leffel believes that painting is something messy you do with brushes in your hands, an idea that Andy Warhol once walked away from, smiling all the way to the bank. 

© David A. Leffel

David Leffel, My Hands, 1975, oil on panel, 15 x 20 inches

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Best Art Galleries San Francisco Has to Offer

There are so many great art galleries in San Francisco that regularly organize exhibitions, shows and different art events. San Francisco is one of the major centers of contemporary art in the United States, and it's not surprising that this beautiful city hosts a number of recognized and notable art galleries. What is interesting and unique about San Francisco art galleries is the fact that the majority of them promote local artists – artists from the Bay Area (San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Napa and other cities). Of course, they also represent and promote national and international artists, but there aren't many cities whose art galleries are so focused on promoting local emerging and established artists.


San Francisco art galleries largely contribute to the reputation of the city as one of the main contemporary art centers in the United States. Apart from a vast number of galleries, San Francisco is also home to many important art institutions, such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and many others. In addition, art galleries in San Francisco reflect the richness of Californian culture. There are many galleries that promote Latin American art, and those presenting Californian art and artists from this state. Finally, as one of the largest cities in the US, San Francisco art galleries regularly host exhibitions of major contemporary artists of our time.
Editors' Tip: Art-Sites San Francisco: The Indispensable Guide to Contemporary Art-Architecture-Design
We recommend you the book titled "Art-Sites San Francisco: The Indispensable Guide to Contemporary Art-Architecture-Design" written by Sidra Stich. It explores the vivid art scene of San Francisco, and in detail presents museums, galleries, alternative art spaces this beautiful city has to offer. art-SITES San Francisco is an abundant compendium of practical information and in-depth discussions about the best places to see innovative work by local and international talents. Illustrated with neighborhood maps, suggested walking tours, and helpful indexes, this handbook examines museums, galleries, exhibition spaces, film ce nters, cutting-edge architecture and interior renovations, public art and other art-relates places. The book also covers art scene of other cities in the Bay Area, such as Marin, Napa, Sonoma, the East Bay, the Peninsula, and San Jose.

Scroll down and take a look at art galleries in San Francisco you have to visit!

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Her: Meryl Streep’s Joyful, Unrestrained Sense of Art, Life, and Experience



"Is there anything she can't do?" This is a common reaction to Meryl Streep, who will next be seen in Stephen Frears' lovely Florence Foster Jenkins.  It's an accurate-enough but broad way of responding to one of Streep's abilities to embody a variety of character types, empathetic or despicable, strong-willed or weak, funny or deathly serious. Even when her face is not on screen, such as in Wes Anderson's sublime Fantastic Mr. Fox, not only the distinct timbre of her voice but her presence is felt, shining through the character, and that, more specifically, is what remains the most potent element of Streep's skill set: to imbue each character with as much of her own persona, her inimitable physical gesticulations, motions, and tics, as the characteristics written into the DNA of the role by the scripter.


Image via Columbia Pictures

It's apropos, then, that in The Devil Wears Prada, one of the great unexpected delights of 2006, Stanley Tucci's character at one point breaks down Streep's Miranda Priestly, a veiled take on Anna Wintour, in terms of her facial reactions to fashion lines. In that movie, directed by David Frankel, the actress' studied variations of delivery and physicality proved even more crucial than ever in revealing Priestly's brazenly cruel and condescending persona as a constructed apparatus to protect herself from intimacy; an understandable tactic, considering her barbed relationship with her husband, which is explained in a quick but key scene. Unlike reports of Wintour's volcanic behavior, Streep's Priestly is all sharp, measured critiques and dismissals, like those exquisite utterances of "that's all" that seem to hang in the air like poisonous perfume.

The best moment of The Devil Wears Prada remains her near-surgical dismantling of Anne Hathaway's character when she scoffs at her employer weighing the differences between two seemingly similar belts, which stresses a specified knowledge and taste in the arts. She similarly finds the wild pulse of creative inspiration and particular yet expansive intelligence in Julie & Julia, wherein she plays the great Julia Child, spanning the time period between when Child began learning to cook and the publishing of her iconic "Mastering The Art of French Cooking." Streep is, in fact, at her best when playing a character embroiled in learning, honing, or recalibrating their chosen art form, offering a reflexivity to her own craft. In Julie & Julia especially, she radiates a joy in every barking laugh, excited whoop, and gasp of anger or exhaustion that Child was famed for, while also showing an unperce ivable control over the wild chopping, flailing, and ambulating of the character.


Image via The Weinstein Company

Effervescence is Streep's most graceful and satisfying utility; even if Priestly isn't, her performance barely conceals her giddy delight in bringing out the salient details of her character's oversized ego. It's similarly apparent in her role as the devilish, manipulative mother in Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate, but even more so in The Iron Lady, a compromised take on the rise of Margaret Thatcher, England's answer to Ronald Reagan. Where others might have tried to tailor their performances to expert mimicry, Streep's Thatcher feels more in the moment, active and visceral in her discussions about the societal turmoil of 1980s England, while the filmmaking felt staunchly tied to the not-so-great script. Even underneath the wig and make-up, Streep's portrayal of a woman demanding respect in a classically masculine career seethed with anger that transcended the overworked period details in the dialogue and aesthetic.

Still, Streep's most memorable and endearing performance was one that required no historic consideration of a public character but rather contemplation of existence itself. As the empathetic, heroic, and kind Julia in Defending Your Life, she proved to be an ideal foil and romantic sparring partner for Albert Brooks' cynical Daniel Miller, a coward who must explain the meaning and substance of his life to get into heaven. The film is now (rightly) considered a comedy classic, a riff on the Pressburger/Powell masterpiece A Matter of Life and Death, and at the center of Brooks's dizzyingly inventive afterlife is a duel of perspectives: Brooks's pickled and fearful executive versus Streep's lover of life. In her best roles, Streep has similarly been the exuberant guide through a director's world, beaming with a heartening and sincere hunger for experience and interactions, even when her c haracters seems to be frightened or tarnished by such ventures. This rousing attitude is so effortlessly endearing that it nearly made It's Complicated palatable, but more importantly, it's given all her characters the verve of a vibrant, complicated interior life, which is often enough the only palpable sign of life in modern major-studio filmmaking.


Image via Warner Bros.

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The Great Fire of London, punk at 40 and a golden rhino – the week in art

Exhibition of the week

Fire! Fire!
An epochal event that marks the birth of modern Britain as Christopher Wren rebuilt the capital in its wake is explored in this family-friendly survey of the Great Fire of London. Find out how the Monument to the fire's outbreak doubles up as a telescope, among other gems in the ashes of history.
Museum of London, London, until April 2017.

Also showing

Painter's Paintings
Last few weeks of this exhilerating encounter with great art and what it means to great artists, from the Cézanne owned by both Degas and Jasper Johns, to the Picassos that Picasso gave to Matisse.
National Gallery, London, until 4 September.

Punk 1976-78
Punk is an academic subject now and, 40 years on, its archives are on display at the British Library. Ever get the feeling you've been catalogued?
British Library, London, until 2 October.

Inspiring Impressionism
Step back from the rush of the Edinburgh festival and chill among the landscapes of Daubigny, Monet and Van Gogh.
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until 2 October.

If you want to enter a twilit Gaelic dream world, there's no better way than to visit this extraordinarily seductive exhibition. Prehistoric Scotland – and Europe – is revealed as place of magic and beauty.
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, until 26 September.

Masterpiece of the week

A Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, by Jan Vermeer (1670-1672). Photograph: VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images

Rich surfaces – the painted case of a keyboard instrument, a blue shimmering skirt, a picture on the wall – interact in an almost abstract play of colour in this precociously modern meditation on desire, solitude and the silent music that is art.
National Gallery, London.

Image of the week

Home (2010), by Edmund Clark. Photograph: Edmund Clark/Courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York

"This is a house in Kuwait," says Edmund Clark of his image, part of an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, London. "It belongs to the brother of an ex-Guantánamo Bay detainee. The architecture of the room struck me as incredibly confining." Read more about the photographer's Guantánamo series in this week's My Best Shot.

What we learned

Grayson Perry and Gillian Wearing went back to art school to meet a new generation of stars ... and reflect on their own college days

Mark Wallinger has turned the Freud Museum upside down

South Africa's golden rhino is the star of a new British Museum show

A US court is to decide the authenticity of a disputed Peter Doig work

A flaming success? Let's assess Rio's Olympic architecture and design

We preview Rem, Tomas Koolhaas's film about his famous father

Architect Glenn Murcutt opens up about his new Melbourne mosque

A Little Life author Hanya Yanagihia is curating photography now

Aesthetic meets gastric in the sculptures of Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

Greenwich is asking for help to clear the grime from its Painted Hall

A gas-lit cinema in Leeds is one of the latest lottery beneficiaries

A Joshua Reynolds painting has been accepted in lieu of £4.7m tax

Collage artist Hormadz Narielwalla says becoming a UK citizen just before Brexit feels bittersweet

A pack of bronze wolves is hounding Berlin – in the name of racism

Hairy, horny and horrible – these are the scariest monsters in art

But enough of fauna. Appreciate Katie Scott's psychedelic flora

Masayoshi Matsumoto's creatures are the stuff of children's parties

Bill Clinton is not the only grownup going gaga for balloons

And finally, can Ed Balls surpass these pint-sized ballroom dancers?

Get involved

Side by side – your art on the theme of juxtaposition
K is for knowledge – share your new artwork now

And finally

Follow us on Twitter: @GdnArtandDesign

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