Whitehot Magazine

Happy Birthday, Anthony Haden-Guest

Courtesy of the author.


I fondly write this upon the occasion of Anthony Haden-Guest’s birthday in February, 2024. He is going to be mad at me for doing it. You see, Anthony didn’t even want anyone to know his age at his recent birthday party. He thought thought that would be bragging - the guy is still as nimble and quick as Jack with his proverbial candle stick. 

Truly an elder statesman of the art world, Anthony will snap at you like an alligator if you interrupt him, or say something he disagrees with. A few years ago he was discussing the difficulties and ramifications of honestly profiling a celebrity artist he had been commissioned to write about for, The New Yorker magazine. Annoyed, I remarked, ”I’d rather hear about you. You are a fascinating man and have accomplished amazing things.” This really pissed him off. “It’s not about that!” he barked,“I am far more interested in others than myself.”

H.G. will cross the street when passing a book store so as not to be recognized when his photograph appears on the jacket of one of his books in the window. Anthony has known and written about many of the most significant talents of our time. While renowned as a preeminent art critic, he does not actually write about art so much as artists. The who, why, what, and where of the industry. The nuts and bolts, the ins-and-outs, the personalities, the art brokers, the broke artists, as well as the wildly successful ones. Anthony is attracted to talent and unique individuals. He has known all sorts, and their level of fame does not seem to interest him so much as their quirky attributes and often bizarre lives. The mention of his name downtown (and uptown) inevitably elicits oohs and aahs of admiration and respect.

I gave Anthony a copy of a fellow Englishman, Graham Greene’s memoirs in the hope that it might inspire him to record his own more recent exploits, as he had already published earlier amusing anecdotes years ago. Later on he admitted that he hadn’t read it and didn’t intend to.

Anthony Haden-Guest has written articles for a rather dazzling array of top tier periodicals, several of which have also published his acerbically humorous cartoons lampooning our big city ways - an at least partial list of which, along with his sundry literary antics, is well noted on Wikipedia.

We celebrated, the legendary, the infamous; art critic, socialite, journalist, provocateur’s birthday at the historied, illustrious Copacabana club in midtown Manhattan. Needless to say, the packed house was peopled by the A-list. As well as the B-list, and . . . And whether he wanted it or not, the spotlight was on him that night. WM


Christopher Hart Chambers

Christopher Hart Chambers is an artist born in NYC where he lives and works. His paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in numerous solo and group gallery and museum exhibitions such as The Nassau County Museum of Art, PS1, and Andre Zarre gallery, to name a few. He has also written extensively about contemporary art for Flashart, Tema Celeste, Contemporary, Sculpture magazine, and several others, as well as occasionally curating exhibitions.

view all articles from this author