As you may have heard, last night at Christie's, a painting of Bea Arthur entitled "Bea Arthur Topless" was purchased for $1.9 million. Was this buy the latest pick-me-up in Steve Cohen's quest to make himself feel better about the Feds riding his ass like Zorro, not to mention, the reemergence of his worst nightmare? That the portrait was reportedly purchased by an "anonymous bidder over the phone" suggests that it's certainly possibility.
Other clues that lead us to believe Steve was the mystery caller include:
- He hasn't gone stress shopping in almost three weeks, and Tuesday brought news that undoubtedly precipitated some serious retail therapy.
- He's part of the extended Christie's family and likely received an advanced copy of the catalog with certain items circled for him by people who know his tastes.
- He's working on acquiring the necessary pieces for a follow-up to his Women exhibit at Sotheby's, entitled 'Dames I have loved,' based on his favorite female characters from Golden Girls, Empty Nest, Mama's Family, Designing Women, and Wings.
- He's often told people that he has Bea to thank for SAC. He'd always known he wanted to run his own fund and it was her decision to move on at the end of season 7 that gave him the courage to give notice at Gruntal in 1992, the same year Girls finished it's run. Early SAC investors will recall that one of the hedge fund's first offerings was the Petrillo Fund, after Dorothy's maiden name. (He never liked that Stan character.)
- He's got a lot of walls to fill.
- During the worst years of his marriage to Patty, Golden Girls was the only thing that could get him to smile. Those 30 minutes a week felt like his own personal refuge. Dorothy's story resonated with him the most, in particular the strength she showed after that pig of a husband left her for some bimbo. "If Dorothy could get through that," he'd say to himself. "I can get through this." He never got a chance to tell Bea what she'd meant to him and buying this picture felt like a small way of saying "Thank you for being a friend."
- He's always said he'd pay top dollar for a topless painting of Arthur or the original script from episode 64, "The Artist" ("Suave, sexy artist Lazlo chooses Blanche as his nude model for a sculpture. When Blanche sneaks a peek at Lazlo's sketches, she is indignant: the pictures resemble Rose. Dorothy soon reveals that Lazlo asked her to pose, too, and the three bicker over which of them will be immortalized in stone").
- He's really fucking pissed off about how much attention Betty White has gotten in recent years, when he KNOWS that Bea Arthur was the straw that stirred the drink on that show. He paid a shitload of money for this painting to get her name out there again.
Bea Arthur topless painting sells for nearly $2M [NYP]
Related: Steve Cohen Bought Himself A Little Pick-Me-Up; Steve Cohen Gives 215 Million (And Counting) Fingers To The Universe; If You’re Selling An Apartment In Manhattan, Just Call 203-890-2000 And Ask For Steve