Critics dine on AGNSW boss’ restaurant bill

But the dice were already cast. 2GB talkback radio host Ben Fordham referred to credit card charges on Tuesday as reading as the Good Food Guide, special mention of the hundreds of dollars spent at Brand’s local Elizabeth Bay bottle shop and a mysterious $420 taxi ride.

Under Pressure: Michael Brand.Credit:Edwina Pickles

Brand’s arrival at the gallery heralded a seismic shift in the culture of the institution, which had been shaped around the towering personality of its celebrated predecessor, the late Edmond Caponwho steered the ship from 1978 to 2011.

Judith Whiteformer leader of the Art Gallery Society volunteer group, left the post in 2015 under a cloud of discontent, writing a book about Brand’s impact titled Heist of culture: art against moneyin which she focuses on “breaking the silence on…the public good and the forces of corporatization”.

In 2017, the brand-led culture within the gallery was described as “ruthless” following the shock departure of key staff after years of service, including the director of corporate development at the gallery. ‘Art Gallery Society, Mark Manton.

PS discovered a few years ago how seriously Brand takes its image after writing about the need to update its Christmas card list, which included several recipients who had long since left that deadly reel. The ensuing objection came loud and clear.


This pales in comparison, however, to his 2006 missive sent and published in the Los Angeles Times. Brand was responding to the newspaper’s report of the “expensive” search to find him suitable accommodation when he became director of the J Paul Getty Museum.

“I haven’t been asked a single question…about the museum’s acquisitions, exhibits, or educational programs. I have however been asked how much I earn and what type of car I drive… this must be the first time the number of bathrooms in a three bedroom apartment building temporarily occupied by a museum director has appeared on the front page of a major metropolitan newspaper.

Now he can add eating habits.

Go out, rebel style

In a perfect world, same-sex celebrity relationships should be a redundant concept in 2022. Love is love, right?

Rebel Wilson poses with his new girlfriend, Ramona Agruma.

Rebel Wilson poses with his new girlfriend, Ramona Agruma. Credit:instagram

Instead, PS erred on the side of caution and emailed Rebel Wilson’s reps Thursday morning, giving her two days to comment on her new relationship with another woman, LA designer Ramona Agruma, before publishing. only one word.

Big mistake. Wilson chose to contemplate history, posting her new “Disney Princess” to Instagram early Friday morning, the same platform she previously used to brag about her handsome ex-boyfriend, the wealthy baron of American beer Jacob Busch.

She even had her ‘best friend’, actor Hugh Sheridan, doing radio interviews in Sydney on Friday morning, in which he gloated about featuring the women six months ago.

Given how bitterly Wilson had complained about poor standards of journalism when she successfully sued women’s day for defamation, his choice to ignore PS’s unobtrusive, genuine and honest questions was, in our view, disappointing.

Agruma and Wilson are heading to this year's Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Agruma and Wilson are heading to this year’s Vanity Fair Oscar party.Credit:instagram

Of course, who someone dates is their business, but Wilson thankfully harbored such lustful interest when she had a handsome boyfriend.

It is Wilson’s first same-sex relationship, at age 42 and at a time when same-sex marriage is legal in many parts of the world and – thanks to decades of fighting for equality – sexual orientation does not matter. is no longer something to be hidden, even in Hollywood.

Until now, Wilson had publicly identified as a heterosexual woman. It’s unlikely she experienced the kind of discrimination, let alone the homophobia – unconscious or overt – that sadly still affects so many gay, lesbian and non-heterosexual people.

Rebel Wilson has found love but remains silent.

Rebel Wilson has found love but remains silent. Credit:Tide Williams

She and Agruma became very close in a short time. Wilson’s mother, Sue Bownds, who lives in Sydney, recently traveled to Los Angeles to meet Agruma, while the couple openly discussed having a family and getting married.

From Luhrmann to ur-man

Blink and you’ll miss her in Elvis, but Australian actress and former SCEGGS girl Natasha Bassett is getting outsized media attention for her role in the Baz Luhrmann extravaganza, in which she plays Elvis Presley’s girlfriend, Dixie Locke, and barely utters a sentence .

Close ties: Natasha and her mother Jenny Bassett.

Close ties: Natasha and her mother Jenny Bassett.Credit:Facebook

Indeed, there is a certain irony in this character as it mirrors the real life of Bassett, who is gaining media attention these days for her own famous boyfriend, the richest man in the world, King of Tesla, prodigious procreator, Twitter tyrant and space nut Elon Musk.

Despite the two-decade age gap, Musk and Bassett are quietly dating, with the pair most recently pictured trying to enjoy a private lunch in Saint-Tropez after appearing on the Festival red carpet of Cannes for Elvis.

Elon Musk.

Elon Musk. Credit:PA

Bassett and his mother – former Sydney socialite Jenny Bassett, who once dated millionaire car dealer Neville “Croaky” Crichton – have lived in the United States for more than a decade. Friends tell PS that recent media coverage of the Musk relationship has left mother and daughter a little wary about broaching the subject.

Not that we can tell from Natasha’s satellite link with extra today this week, when host David Campbell tried to pull a piece of her from “dating Elon Musk.” Natasha simply smiled and stayed strictly on message, reveling in how lucky she was to work with a director of Luhrmann’s caliber.

Golden by association

With enough gilded cherubs, garden statues, gilded mirrors, chests of drawers, crystal chandeliers and Louis XIV-style armchairs to fill your own mock Versailles, the former breakfast TV host turned lady of the Southern Highlands mansion Samantha Armytage gave us a rare glimpse into her very distinctive decorating style.

Lady of the Mansion: Samantha Armytage.

Lady of the Mansion: Samantha Armytage.

Considered “key pieces” to his “idyllic” pre-wedding Burrawang farmhouse and his Bondi residence, they are now auctioned off at Lawsons, which whips up possessions and personal effects.

Fit for a queen: the faux Louis XIV desk at Armytage she hopes to sell.

Fit for a queen: the faux Louis XIV desk at Armytage she hopes to sell.Credit:Lawsons

Apparently, the millionaire TV personality “also offers her pieces at great prices because she believes in keeping things spinning for as long as possible.” Armytage tells Lawsons, “I wanted the things I had loved living with to continue and have new life in new homes.”


Fulfilling its Marie Antoinette fantasy, Armytage has apparently collected “classics” by the late Sydney socialite Amana Finley and even pieces from the historic Schweppes Mansion in Lake Forest, “based on originals located at the Palace of Versailles”.

She expects around $30,000 for a Bureau à Cylindre in French gilt bronze marquetry in the Louis XIV style, while other items that caught PS’s eye included a Napoleon III clock in gilt bronze and tortoiseshell of a 19th century turtle, a somewhat incongruous cast iron statue of Liberty and a life-size bronze statue of a horse and jockey.

No sign of guillotines, probably it’s still on the way Sunrise Position.

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