Dustin Yellin has recently been spending time with Michelle Williams, 32, but who is he? The Brooklyn-based artist, 37, has already shown that he’s comfortable around children (after all, he picked up the Oscar nominee’s daughter, Matilda, 7, from school on Tuesday), but here are five things you may not know about him:
1. HE LOST ‘EVERYTHING’ IN SUPERSTORM SANDY: The L.A. native lives and works in Brooklyn, specifically the superstorm Sandy-ravaged Red Hook neighborhood. After the storm, “I lost everything,” he told Gallerist NY. “Everything” was a lot: Yellin had purchased a $3.7 million Civil War-era building he’d been converting into artist studios at the price tag of about $50,000 per month. After the destruction, he showed a great sense of calm. “Whenever you lose whatever you’ve built in your life and your world,” he told the blog, “it only makes you and your community stronger.”
2. HE’S A JACK OF ALL TRADES: In addition to creating art, the New York Times reported last year that he also edited a quarterly art magazine called Intercourse and co-directed a documentary film, “Little Grandfather,” about a remote Amazonian tribe.
3. HE DROPPED OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL: Yellin, who was raised by his mom in Aspen, Colo., dropped out of high school just before his senior year, according to the Times. “I wasn’t learning about what I wanted to do,” he told the newspaper. In 1996, he moved to New York City to be an artist.
4. HE’S NO STRANGER TO CELEBRITY: Not only is Yellin represented by his “old friend” Vito Schnabel, the young art dealer who was once linked to Demi Moore, but Lance Armstrong, Ben Stiller, Kate Hudson and Kirsten Dunst are all reportedly fans of his work.
5. HE LOVES DOGS: In 2012 (before Sandy hit), Yellin gave an interview to Gallerist NY about his love of animals. He said that at his studio space, “lots” of canines roamed free, and he had “sort of three-ish” of his own. “We’ve got some pit bulls, and some German shepherds and some mixes,” he said. “It’s a serious dog world over there.”