CNN anchor Anderson Cooper may be known as one of the most recognizable newscasters of his generation, but in his spare time, he's moonlit as both an art dealer, and an assistant.
During an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers earlier this week, Cooper opened up about his relationship with his late mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, who died two years ago at the age of 95. He revealed that in trying to motivate her to start painting again, he took an unusual approach.
"My mom died when she was 95, but around the time she was 91, she was getting a little depressed," he explained. "A lot of her friends were dying... She works as an artist, as well, and she wasn’t painting." In an effort to get her motivated, Cooper "introduced her to Instagram, which she thought was, like, magic...I got her on Instagram, then I created an account for her artwork to get her out of bed and paint.”
Unsurprisingly, the account didn't take long to amass thousands of followers, many of whom were interested in buying Vanderbilt's artwork. Vanderbilt didn't have the bandwidth to handle all the queries on her own, but she knew her son couldn't exactly step in either—"You can’t do it as yourself because you can’t be like, ‘Hi, I’m Anderson. What size frame do you want?’" So she hatched a plan, and told Cooper to come up with a character.
"She was like, ‘OK, why don’t we invent a lady of a certain age named Monica, who’s a longtime trusted assistant, and you be Monica and you answer all the DMs on Instagram to buy my artworks," Cooper recounted, adding that over the next three years, he regularly negotiated art deals via Instagram DM as 'Monica.'" Now that's what we call being a multi-hyphenate!
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