'No Hands art.' ...Wolfe’s term for conceptual art, because so many of the top conceptual artists never touch their own artworks. Their job is to come up with the concept, and thereafter keep their hands clean. Richard Serra, for example, sends a sketch of some steel walls to a foundry. Once the walls have been manufactured, he hires a crew of 'elves’, as Wolfe calls them, to arrange the walls in a pattern.
'Jeff Koons is another one, a big, big name. He got his elves to build a 45ft bunny rabbit with things planted all over it to give it a kind of fur. He briefly married a famous Italian porn star. He had pictures taken by a photographer of them having at it in every possible way. I’m sure he didn’t even put them in the envelope, but the photographs were sent to the elves in Switzerland, who returned them in the form of three-dimensional glass sculptures, like pornographic Lalique, and these have brought tremendous prices.’
Once Wolfe gets talking about the art world, it’s hard to stop him, and pretty soon he’s chuckling over Damien Hirst’s $8 million shark, which is now rotting in a Connecticut mansion. 'Hirst offered to replace it with another one. Hah!’
Then he goes into a long, nostalgic reverie about Andy Warhol, the first artist really to mock the art world. 'I wouldn’t go across the street if they were handing out Warhols myself, but you have to hand it to him. His influence was extraordinary and yet he was making a joke of the very people who took him so seriously. He had very little physical personality, but he managed to appear charismatic to people in that world. I’ve never seen that done before. No Hands art goes straight back to Warhol. He was the first to use elves.’