Monday, May 16, 2016

A Collector’s-Eye View of the Auctions

The art collector Adam Lindemann. Credit Ungano + Agriodimas
Twenty-four hours after Adam Lindemann sold a Jean-Michel Basquiat at Christie’s for $57.3 million — an auction record for the artist — he found himself in the role of bidder as selling began for a 1942 Calder standing mobile at Sotheby’s last Wednesday night. He thought the $3 million to $4 million estimate was too low, that the piece was worth $10 million, given that it had once been owned by Alfred H. Barr, founder of the Museum of Modern Art.
Mr. Lindemann, 54, an established collector and dealer, jumped into the bidding himself, but dropped out before the piece ultimately sold for $8.3 million with fees.
“Had I pushed it, it would have gone to 10,” he said later. “It wasn’t destined to come to me. Sometimes when you bid, you’re not going to get it — you just know. It was an amazing purchase for someone to own and to keep for a decade. It was not necessarily the right purchase for someone like me.”
Mr. Lindemann, a regular in the New York auction rooms, agreed to share his impressions of the spring sales in real time with a reporter. As both a buyer and a seller, he was active last week, offering an up-close view of the negotiations that go into each sale.
Why didn’t he buy the Calder? He wouldn’t divulge his final bid, but indicated that it wasn’t a work he would want to sit on until it appreciated enough to resell. Given his legal and business expertise (he has a degree from Yale Law School and used to run his own investment firm), he has established himself as a knowledgeable insider, and buys for both love and value, tending to spend in the $20 million-and-under range. Before selling the Basquiat he bought an Uli figure from Papua New Guinea, the cover lot at Sotheby’s African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian art sale, for $4.7 million.
Loic Gouzer of Christie’s with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Untitled,” which sold for $57.3 million last week, an auction record for the artist. Credit Kena Betancur/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
“He’s part of the trade,” said Brett Gorvy, Christie’s worldwide chairman of postwar and contemporary art. “He’s been a collector and a dealmaker for most of his career, he knows all the ins and outs of what actually happens in an auction room. He’s used to selling and trading up. That gives him a different kind of mentality. You have to have a certain ability to detach yourself from objects.”
Mr. Lindemann’s decision to sell the Basquiat was therefore carefully considered. Given the uncertainty in the market, it could have seemed like a risky time to sell one of the most valuable pieces in his collection. But Christie’s had a buyer who had committed to paying at least $40 million for the piece. And Mr. Lindemann said the moment was actually opportune, given the lack of competition from other major consignments.
“If it were a regular bullish sale in 2014, we would have been fighting a Rothko or a Picasso and a $50 million balloon dog,” he said, referring to a Jeff Koons sculpture. “The question is, do you want to be the lead in a smaller movie or do you want to be in a film with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio?
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“If you know that you can deliver,” he said, “you do the smaller movie, where you’re the lead and the movie is about you.”
Mr. Lindemann had sold major works before; for example, Mr. Koons’s bright red “Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold)” at Sotheby’s in 2007 for $23.5 million. But the Basquiat — sold to the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa — was a prize that auction houses had been trying to wrest away from him since he bought the painting for $4.5 million in 2004.
“Almost every six months or every year, I would put forward an offer,” Mr. Gorvy said. “Each time it was someone who was looking for a masterpiece. He was willing to listen, but he always had a firm number in his head, and that number was 50.”
Mr. Lindemann, who comes from wealth — Forbes puts his family’s net worth at $2.9 billion — has collected for about 20 years and showcases art through two galleries: Venus Over Manhattan, which opened in 2012, and Venus Over Los Angeles, which opened in 2015. Mr. Lindemann’s exhibitions tend to be deliberately untraditional, like his current show of Warhol’s “Little Electric Chairs.”
He is married to an art dealer, Amalia Dayan, and the two live in a Brutalist Upper East Side townhouse designed by the architect David Adjaye. Last year Mr. Lindemann bought Andy Warhol’s former oceanfront compound in Montauk.
He started his galleries as a way to showcase artists who he believes have not received the attention they deserve, like William Copley, Bernard Buffet, Jack Goldstein and H. C. Westermann. “There’s plenty of good galleries in New York and plenty that are better than mine,” he said, adding that he aims “to revisit artists who are out of favor, to look at historic work in a new way.”

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Mr. Gorvy said: “The fact that he likes Westermann kind of tells it all — a highly quirky, highly respected artist among a niche group of collectors — someone who is really anti-commercial in a certain way. That’s the kind of thing Adam pursues.”
During Sotheby’s contemporary auction last week, Mr. Lindemann — who has a round face and bright blue eyes — was a font of caustic commentary. Elaine Sturtevant’s “Warhol Marilyn,” he said, which went for $490,000 on an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000, was “a cheap way to buy something you can’t afford.” (Sturtevant made close but inexact versions of other artists’ works.) And the bidding on an untitled Rudolf Stingel canvas from 2007 — estimated at $1.5 million to $2 million — was “insane” in his opinion.
But behind his desk in his Madison Avenue gallery the following day, Mr. Lindemann commended the sale. “It was a solid 10,” he said. “Everyone in the room felt good.”
Sotheby’s had selected items that it knew it could sell, he said — “artists who continue to make the same kind of things, like Christopher Wool, Robert Ryman, Rudolf Stingel and Agnes Martin.”
“This market wants what’s identifiable,” Mr. Lindemann said. “This market wants security, because this market is nervous.”
He also made a point of noting who the auction houses are not selling, suggesting that certain artists are currently out of favor. “Why are there no Damien Hirsts in the evening sale anymore? Where are they?” he said. “Where are the Wade Guytons?”
In his view, estimates placed on works by auction houses are too often mistaken for actual value, when they are simply the result of deals between auction houses and sellers: The prices represent how much the auction house is willing to commit to a seller and what that seller is willing to accept.
“You have to appreciate the views of the consignor and the agenda of the auction house,” Mr. Lindemann said. “People think the estimate represents the value. And often it doesn’t.”
He believes that putting more than 20 Calders up for sale this season among the three main auction houses was a mistake, glutting the market, even though Calders generally do well and brought solid prices this time around. And he said that while an auction can seem ”inappropriately decadent,” given “all these numbers being thrown around,” if it were real estate, “no one would have a problem with it.”
“In a way,” he added, “many pictures today are worth as much or more than anybody’s home.”

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The Art Museum in Steve Tisch’s Backyard

Steve Tisch in his “shed,” a 4,500-square-foot mini-museum for his art collection on what had been his tennis complex. Credit Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times
Steve Tisch and his girlfriend, Katia Francesconi, recently held a sit-down dinner for 30 at their hillside estate here. It was not in their neo-Georgian mansion, amid the Basquiats and Hockneys. Nor was it on the brick terrace, which has one of those postcard views of sparkling urban sprawl.
Rather, supper was served in the “shed.”
The dictionary defines that word as a “small, simple building used especially for storage.” And for a billionaire — Mr. Tisch is the chairman of the New York Giants of the N.F.L., a prolific movie producer and a stakeholder in his family’s Loews Corporation — the term is appropriate, even if it may strike a more ordinary crowd as a bit much.
The building, which rose over the last 18 months on what was previously Mr. Tisch’s tennis complex, is a two-story, 4,500-square-foot mini-museum. This was the dramatic reveal.
“It has just been finished; the paint is literally just dry,” Mr. Tisch told his guests, including Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, who had pored through Mr. Tisch’s collection to select and organize the artworks on display. “For the Jews here, tonight is the bris.”
Everyone laughed. “That’s the Tush!” J. Ben Bourgeois, a longtime friend, said with admiring gusto, using his cheeky nickname for Mr. Tisch.
This is what keeping up with the Joneses looks like these days for megawatt art collectors. People with tremendous wealth have long converted residential areas into showcases for their trophies, whether Ming dynasty furniture or Impressionist landscapes or medieval manuscripts. But space has become an increasingly common problem as buyers like Mr. Tisch have amassed contemporary art, which can be monumental in scale: Stuff no longer fits, even on mansion-size walls.
Faced with putting paintings in storage or donating artworks to museums, which rarely exhibit them, a solution — especially for collectors in cities like Los Angeles, land of rolling lawns — has become the backyard museum, complete with high-tech lighting, humidity controls and 25-foot ceilings.
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“There are more of these than you think,” said Leslie Wright, who runs the Los Angeles division of Bonhams, the art auctioneer. “Among a certain set, there is not a tennis court that’s safe.”
Most collectors, Ms. Wright noted, want to keep their private galleries off the public radar, perhaps because of security concerns. Others have landed in hot water after building private museums next to their homes and claiming tax-exempt status by allowing in a trickle of visitors.
Mr. Tisch has no such plans, but keeping people out has its own drawbacks; when the blog Curbed Los Angeles got wind of his intentions, it held him up as a self-involved 1 percenter, calling his admittance policy “no plebes allowed.”
Mr. Tisch, 67, the only person in history with both a Super Bowl ring and an Academy Award, which he won in 1995 as a producer of “Forrest Gump,” does not see any particular need to justify his indulgence. “I feel very comfortable with my philanthropy,” he said in his even way. “Very simply, I wanted a home for my art, and I’m looking forward to using the space for entertaining and hanging out with my friends.
“The building is dramatic,” he continued, “but it’s not pretentious and it’s not overwhelming.” He declined to say how much it cost. But, he added with a smile, borrowing “Citizen Kane” imagery to make a point about not needing to prove himself: “I’m not Charles Foster Kane, and this isn’t Xanadu. Nobody took away my sled.”
In some ways, his inaugural dinner — attendees included the superagent Bryan Lourd, the financier Matthew Orr and Robert H. Blumenfield, a real estate titan — had a public function. It was part of an elaborate fund-raiser for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where Mr. Tisch sits on the board.

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Every spring, people pay up to $60,000 for the opportunity to vote on artworks to add to its permanent collection. The event, which this year raised $6.4 million, begins on a Friday, with seven simultaneous dinners at the homes of museum donors, and concludes with a gala and voting the next night.
As is often the case with high-end philanthropy, especially in Los Angeles, over-the-top dinners — each prepared by a celebrity chef and flooded with famed wines — are needed to coax open the checkbooks.
One year, Mr. Tisch brought in live longhorn cattle. “They were big boys,” recalled Mr. Bourgeois, whose events company handles all of Mr. Tisch’s dinners. (The organizers were going for a rural theme; the chefs behind the restaurant Animal were cooking, and guests ate inside a barn that was constructed for one night and strewn with straw.)
Another year, Mr. Tisch recreated Rao’s, the exclusive New York restaurant, right down to its Christmas lights, over his swimming pool.
This time, guests were treated like apostles. As everyone sat down at a mirror-covered table lined with 20 wax-dripping candles, two attendants rolled out an 8-by-16-foot blank canvas. Mr. Tisch had hired a muralist to paint us as we ate: the First Supper. “How lucky are we to have Steve Tisch on this planet?” Mr. Govan said, giving a toast. “Steve, we just think you’re awesome.”
Mr. Tisch leaned into Ms. Francesconi. “I just feel so blessed,” he said.
The evening had started with cocktails inside Mr. Tisch’s main house, which is tucked high in Benedict Canyon. Chitchat centered on his generosity to the museum; Mr. Tisch has become one of its most important patrons, giving millions in recent years to acquire video art, with Christian Marclay’s “The Clock,” a 24-hour film that splices together thousands of movie clips involving time, as a particular showstopper.
“Steve is like a laser when he sees something he wants,” said Deborah McLeod, who runs Larry Gagosian’s Beverly Hills gallery, to approving nods from other guests. Mr. Tisch recounted an anecdote about once trying to haggle with Ms. McLeod for a discount. “She kept going back to Larry, who finally said, ‘Tell him to pay the asking price — it’s so much easier,’” he said.
Mr. Tisch then whistled by putting two fingers in his mouth. (“Classy,” somebody said. “Hey, I’m from New Jersey,” he answered.) It was time to use a curving staircase to descend the hillside and enter the gallery, which sits at the base of the property.
“Oh, my God,” Ms. McLeod said as the doors opened to reveal Ed Ruscha’s moody, large-scale “A Blvd. Called Sunset.” Jaws continued to drop as the rest of the gallery’s first level came into view — a pair of sublime paintings by Vija Celmins, Gerhard Richter’s gray and white “Two Women at Table.” Mr. Tisch gestured to another of Mr. Ruscha’s word paintings. “A piece like that is totally wasted in a hallway,” he said.
The story of the shed dates back about five years.
Mr. Tisch had recently started living on the estate again. “I got kicked out for a while,” he said with a wink, referring to a 2009 divorce from his second wife, Jamie Tisch, who continued to inhabit the main house for a time.
As he redecorated the 10,000-square-foot mansion, designed in 1929 by Paul Revere Williams, he began to realize how much of his art collection was displayed in less-than-ideal spots. “It couldn’t breathe,” Mr. Tisch said. “You couldn’t properly view a lot of pieces.”
So he hired Johnston Marklee, an architecture firm known for art-related projects, including the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston, to design a more institutional space. “We considered some kooky options, like building a gallery underneath the house,” said Sharon Johnston, an owner of the firm. “Then we looked at the middle of the hillside, but that wasn’t quite big enough.”
Ultimately, Mr. Tisch suggested the space occupied by a tennis court and a tennis house. “My kids were upset at first, and so I asked each of them the last time they played on it,” he said. “None could remember. The same went for me.”
The finished building has floors made from Douglas fir — not just any, but trees grown in Denmark and then treated with a lye finish to make the wood lighter — and a metal exterior cladding, which continues across the gabled roof.
“It’s not a humble building by any means, but it has an elemental quality,” Ms. Johnston said. “We think of it less as a museum and more as a barn or a shed.”
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Gisele Inc.

Contact images from “Gisele Bündchen,” a 536-page Taschen monograph of the model. Credit Craig McDean/Art & Commerce, via TASCHEN
“My career was never based on pretty,” one of the world’s most beautiful women was saying recently, straining a listener’s credulity. The woman was Gisele Bündchen. And if what should have seemed disingenuous or else a bad case of false modesty somehow rang true, that is because the listener had already heard the tale of the nose.
People in the business often repeat, as an example of the ways in which fashion is deeply disordered, the story of how two decades ago when Ms. Bündchen was starting out in a field she has dominated ever since — becoming not just the most highly paid model in the world but the richest, according to Forbes — some misguided types routinely advised her to correct what they saw as a glaring feature flaw.
“It’s true,” Angela Missoni, creative director of her family company, said last week from Milan. “Gisele did our first campaign with Mario Testino and we used a beautiful shot, but with Gisele’s hair all across her face.”
Ms. Bündchen as a child with a pet.
For that 1998 Missoni campaign, the Brazilian with the pore-less complexion, the wide toothy smile, the symmetrical although slightly square-jawed face appears almost entirely concealed behind a veil of hair. Imagine, if you can, Ms. Bündchen with a comb-over. “Mario wasn’t 100 percent sure about her,” Ms. Missoni said. “He was worried about her nose.”
What can you do about moments like that, Ms. Bündchen asked. You keep the nose nature gave you and move on. “Even before I got into the business, I was used to being bullied because I was always tall and skinny and stuck out,” she said. “I got really red all the time from playing volleyball, red like a pepper. So I thought bullying was just the way life is.”
Shrugging, she scoops up Fluffy, a rescue mutt she found online, and snuggles her into the folds of a designer sweatshirt so deliberately tattered it looks as if the puppy had a role in its fabrication.
“Gisele Bündchen,” a monograph from Taschen.
Ms. Bündchen and I are seated on a deep white sofa in her $14 million, 48th-floor Madison Square aerie. Beyond a window wall at her back lies a landscape that might have been drawn by Saul Steinberg, with views encompassing much of Manhattan and, across the Hudson, New Jersey and possibly the border between Missouri and Kansas. It says something about Ms. Bündchen’s command of any space she inhabits that after roughly two minutes in her company the panorama has all but disappeared.
Along with her husband, Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback, and their three children — a boy and a girl from their marriage and a son from Mr. Brady’s previous relationship — Ms. Bündchen divides her time among this place, a house in Boston and a vacation compound in coastal Costa Rica. Neither Mr. Brady nor the children are anywhere to be seen today and, thus, all is quiet in a room where a scented candle emits the fragrance of sandalwood.
Ms. Bündchen, whose diet once skewed improbably toward Coke and hamburgers, now observes the more stringent dietary practices favored by her athlete husband. Roughly 80 percent of what she consumes is vegetable in origin; her family’s meals are prepared by a private chef. She is a practiced yogini and, Ms. Bündchen said, a deeply spiritual person, so much so that after reading the legend printed on her chamomile tea bag, she urges a reporter to record what it says. Put that in the article, she said. And so let the record show that love, compassion and kindness are the anchors of life.
A shot from the Taschen book of Ms. Bündchen in 1998. Credit Juergen Teller, via TASCHEN
Then the 35-year-old woman who has appeared 11 times on the cover of American Vogue; who has a personal net worth estimated in excess of $300 million; who enjoys a daily income flow Forbes calculated at $128,000; who, during a year she refers to as her sabbatical, maintains contracts with Pantene, Procter & Gamble, Under Armour, Chanel No. 5, Carolina Herrera, Emilio Pucci and Balenciaga; and whose name appears on products from jelly sandals to underwear explained how it was for her when she first appeared on the scene as a gangly 14-year-old tomboy from the south of Brazil.
“In the beginning, you know, everyone told me, ‘Your eyes are too small, the nose is too big, you can never be on a magazine cover,’” Ms. Bündchen said. “But, you know what? The big nose is coming with a big personality.”
No one anymore would dispute that the enduring success Ms. Bündchen has had in a cruelly objectifying business (one in which the average shelf-life of the talent is optimistically five years) owes much to her beauty. And yet there are “many, many beautiful girls,” in the world, whose names no one remembers, as Ms. Missoni rightly observed. “With Gisele, there is something different, her energy,” the designer added. “Of course, she is super beautiful, but she also has this charisma, this presence, this very sexy normality.”
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Gisele Bündchen’s Runway Walks Through the Years

Gisele Bündchen’s Runway Walks Through the Years

Sexy normality is a curious way of describing someone whose Amazonian strut on a thousand runways, a walk she recently taught on television to Jimmy Fallon, had the effect of making other models look like automatons. And it seems a far cry from the images on display in “Gisele Bündchen,” (Taschen, $69.99), a new 536-page monograph that assembles, in one gravestone-size volume, images of the model from throughout her career.
Here, for instance, is Ms. Bündchen as a bronzed and long-limbed sexpot in a shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, clad in vertiginous platform sandals and a studded Versace bustier as she descends a ladder into an empty swimming pool. Here she is a sexy goofball girl-next-door photographed against cheap motel curtains by Terry Richardson, unaccountably lending innocence to the scene though clad in just underpants and bra.
Here she is a tawny adventuress with a butterscotch mane leading a brace of donkeys along a Sicilian dirt path in Steven Meisel’s images for some long forgotten Dolce & Gabbana campaign. Here she is Kabuki princess hugging tight the Polish model Malgosia Bela in a Richard Avedon hyper-stylized studio portrait, storm-battered orphans dressed in Dior haute couture.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Ms. Bündchen in 2005. Credit Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
Here she is again and again, captured by the lenses of Helmut Newton, Juergen Teller, Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, David LaChapelle, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Michel Comte, Mario Sorrenti, Nino Muñoz and David Sims. And what is striking about these images created by a lustrous roster of prominent photographers and artists is that the most compelling element of any photograph she appears in is not the clothes, the setting or the backdrop but the preternatural vitality of Ms. Bündchen herself.
“I always knew that, even if I was not the most beautiful girl, I’d be the most energetic and hard-working,” the model said. “If you want to know the truth, that’s the reason for my success.”
When industry insiders talk about Ms. Bündchen, the praise most commonly proffered has less to do with her beauty than with her indomitable good spirits, a canny though untutored intelligence and an almost animal energy.
Ms. Bündchen bronzed for a shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, which is in the Taschen book. Credit Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, via TASCHEN
“Gisele always struck me as being super-professional and likable, but with an understanding of her role that went beyond merely turning up and delivering the goods,” said Joe McKenna, a stylist behind some of the more influential fashion campaigns of recent decades. “She always understood that ‘Gisele Bündchen’ could be a business, too. And, though I loathe the word branding, that’s exactly what she’s always been aware of.”
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When the woman Gisele Bündchen speaks of the global brand Gisele Bündchen, she tends to attribute its success to a kind of Horatio Alger ethos, a drive that has been with her since she was young. “I’m a twin, I’m a Cancer, I’m always taking care of other people,” she said, offering to pour bottled water or make tea or fetch anything else a guest might desire. “I’ve always been the fixer in the family, the responsible one,” she said. “I’ve always been a hard worker, never late for a job in my life. Really, ask anyone.”
And, while — unlike, say, the multimillionaire Russian model Natalia Vodianova, whose rags-to-riches story began with her peddling apples by the road in Nizhny Novgorod — Ms. Bündchen comes from a modest, though solidly middle-class background, she is acutely conscious of the psychic and economic distance between the provincial world she was born to and the imposing one she inhabits today. Raised by a real estate agent and a bank cashier in a midsize municipality in Brazil’s southernmost state, Ms. Bündchen is a fraternal twin born to a family of six girls who grew up wearing their sisters’ hand-me-downs. “When I was a kid, I never even thought about fashion,” Ms. Bündchen said. “I had one pair of jeans.”
Tom Brady and Ms. Bündchen. Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times
The story of Ms. Bündchen, who was discovered in a mall food court, is one that hews to all the modeling industry clichés. It happened that she was there that day on an outing with classmates from a modeling school her mother had urged her to attend in the hope that her posture would improve. “This guy came up to me and said: ‘Do you want to be a model? Come with me to the agency right now,’” Ms. Bündchen said, adding that she resisted the idea for predictable teenage reasons. “We were supposed to go to Playcenter that day,” she said, referring to a popular Brazilian amusement park. “The guy said, ‘Oh, I promise you when you come to the agency in São Paulo, I’ll take you to the Playcenter there,’” Ms. Bündchen added. “And you know what? He never took me there!”
With a $50 grubstake from her father, Ms. Bündchen set off alone on a 28-hour bus ride to São Paulo and an improbable lifelong journey. “Modeling was the farthest thing from what I ever thought I would do with my life,” she said. “From the beginning, looks did not define me in any way. I have a different idea of what I am. I wanted to be Jane Goodall. In my mind, I’m still Jane Goodall in bare feet.”
It should surprise no one to learn that a profession the writer Michael Gross once characterized as the “ugly business of beautiful women,” is often less glamorous than tedious and boring, that even the most successful model’s life is frequently grueling and lonely, and that among the job requirements are a high threshold for emotional abuse and an ability to cope with being shuttled about the planet like a parcel to settings where enforced passivity is the norm. “This opportunity was given to me when I left home at 14 and I was not going to come back empty-handed,” Ms. Bündchen said. “What else can a 14-year-old do to make money? I was determined to make it work.”
Ms. Bündchen, to the left of Karl Lagerfeld, foreground, with other models in 2014 after the Chanel show for Paris Fashion Week. Credit Christophe Karaba/European Pressphoto Agency
Thus, if she found herself modeling winter clothes on a shoot in Death Valley in 100-degree heat, she would remain, she said, “totally, 100 percent committed.” And if stylists dressed her in “impossible clothes, things I can’t breathe in,” or photographers transported her to “extreme settings,” or if she found those around her “saying the most horrendous things right in front of your face,” she said she was determined to seek “what is positive here, how to make something good out of this.”
Ms. Bündchen is surely conscious that grit and inner beauty are far from the first qualities that come to mind when people see pictures of her parading down a catwalk wearing Victoria’s Secret angel wings, or doing a step-and-repeat in the arms of her husband at the annual spring Met Gala, or in the paparazzi photographs of her with celebrities she dated before marriage, like Leonardo DiCaprio.
“To me, the idea of being famous is irritating,” Ms. Bündchen said. “The attention is strange. Everyone has an opinion.” Those opinions can be noxious, as when the social media mob piled on after a video capturing her emotional reaction when the Patriots fell to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI was posted to a gossipy website. “It can overwhelm you when people attack you or make comments,” she said. “But when people are saying those things, the haters, I try not to let it in. Given what is, I tell myself, what am I to do?”
She jumps up from the sofa then and scoops up Fluffy, a dog she adopted as a reminder of Vida, the Yorkshire terrier she carried along on her ceaseless global travels early in her career. And when she rises from the sofa with an athlete’s easy grace, a reporter is reminded of a remark the designer Anna Sui once made about Ms. Bündchen: “Gisele has that effervescence only certain girls have, an energy you look for that is really rare.”
Two decades ago, when Ms. Bündchen was barely 16 and relatively unknown, she found herself cast for a Harper’s Bazaar editorial to be shot on the French island of St. Bart’s. The photographer was a man famous himself for having photographed the biggest celebrities and most compelling faces in the world — including Madonna and Diana, Princess of Wales.
“Some people on the sitting were saying, “Oh, she’s not too pretty, she has a big nose,” that photographer, Patrick Demarchelier, said last week, about the youthful Ms. Bündchen. “But I said, ‘No, no, I like her.’ She was smart and outgoing, always happy, and clearly already knew what she was doing.”
Throughout the shoot, the naysayers continued to disparage the young Brazilian. Then the contact sheets came in. “Immediately, right away, you could see that the girl was special,” Mr. Demarchelier said. “She got 20 pages right away.”
Correction: May 14, 2016
An earlier version of this article misidentified the game after which Gisele Bündchen was videotaped reacting emotionally. It was Super Bowl XLVI, when the Patriots fell to the New York Giants. It was not Super Bowl XLIX, when they beat the Seattle Seahawks.