• entrances, or if someone acted strangely and was taken through a secret door that you'd never seen before,” she says. “I was fascinated by the reality of the fantasy; the false version of what really is.”

    Still, it's been a 20-year evolution. She accepts female artists are judged more harshly than males and don't earn anywhere near as much, but doesn't consider it sexist. “I just think male artists are more interesting. It's a cool factor: people want a young, gorgeous guy. There's nothing like the possibilities of a handsome, cool, swinging d**k. It's power, potency, strength; things that will make an older collector feel good about themselves.”

    Feinstein says all this as someone who has contended with accusations of riding on the coattails of her husband's success (Currin is known for sexualized mash-ups of Old Master figure painting and '70s pornography). “I would have been annihilated and taken down years ago if I didn't have talent,” she says. “I know I'm a really good artist and I know I have something to say, but I

    do think it probably would have been easier for me if I wasn't married to such a famous, amazing male artist. I probably would have had a very different trajectory.”

    They met in 1994, when Feinstein was living in a gingerbread house as part of an exhibition. They were engaged after two weeks and married in 1997.

    Each is the other's worst critic and best adviser, she says. “It's absolutely wonderful to have someone who sees what you see. We have a very similar aesthetic. We're both conscious

    “I think MALE ARTISTS are more interesting. It's a COOL FACTOR: people want a young, gorgeous guy”

    of our eye and how we see things. I think he really is the painter's version of me being a sculptor.”

    Feinstein describes their early years as “very rock'n'roll” and says they might never have

    become parents, until September 11 when they decided “it was time to grow up and have children.”

    Still, becoming a mother irrevocably changed her career. “Having kids f***ed me up so hard, I can't tell you,” she says. She now makes, at most, eight pieces a year, with a show perhaps every two years. “I can't have my children, art

    and husband compete all at the same time. It's like Diane von Furstenberg said, 'You can have it all, but not all at once.'”

    With that, she returns to her children and the organization of a potentially disastrous skiing trip. Whatever happens, with Feinstein around, it certainly won't be boring.

    RACHEL'S go-to pieces

    “I LOVE THIS Marni dress because it looks vintage.”

    “I LIKE wide-leg pants, like Temperley London's pair.”

    “I REALLY love Marc Jacobs.”

    Dress by Rick Owens; cuff and ring by Maiyet

    The Edit

    Stylist: Sofia Catania
    Hair and makeup: Sandrine van Slee at Art Department

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