Alexandra Richards Quits Smoking, Feels Warm, Will Show Work At Art Basel

by Ross Kenneth Urken · November 5, 2010

Alexandra Richards DJ'd last night at the Soho launch of Realm Boutique, and she had some interesting news to relate on her smoking, art, and appearance in French Playboy.

"Sorry. Speckles..."

she laughed to us as she moved from the step and repeat's flashing bulbs.

She was positively shivering in a tan suede dress from Realm.

"Actually, I just quit smoking," she said, "so my circulation is actually a lot better. So not as cold, as they say."

How did she quit--some sort of Nicoderm CQ patch or hypnosis?

"No, just cold turkey," she said, having smoked a steady five years. "But, you know, I'm not really craving it. A girlfriend of mine did this seminar and said, 'You're not losing a friend; you're killing an enemy.' So I just keep thinking that over and over."

With Blake Lively set to arrive any minute, we asked if Richards knew the actress.

"No, I don't," she said. "But she looks amazing."

Richards cameoed last season on Gossip Girl but only met Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick:

"I do remember though that Blake Lively had a stunt going on the horse when she was running away."

She felt ready for her spinning gig, and looked at the store lit in neon lavender deciding on what music to play.

"It seems pretty romantic in there," she said. "But, you know, we'll keep it up beat. Dance, rock electronic stuff. I love my girl punk."

She said she's cultivated a certain affection of late for the New Pony Club, M.I.A., and The Ting Tings.

She does play instruments herself, but she tries to leave the public musical performance inkling with her father, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.

"I don't play it for anyone else," she said. "I don't want to damage anybody's ears. No, I played violin for five years and picked up the ukulele two years ago. I play some guitar."

Does her dad try to help her?

"He tries," she said. "But I think, you know, if you've been to a certain level that he's at and then you're like, 'Hey, can you help me with this?' it just seems way too complicated. Like, 'Why aren't you doing it right?' I know some chords. I like, where they tell you where to put the fingers. You kind of tweak it and end up sounding like whatever song you want to look up."

Richards has made a name for herself outside the music world. She posed this summer for French Playboy to follow in the footsteps of her mother Patti Hansen ("My mom did it back in the day," she said. "It was an experience just to say you've done it.").

For her part, Richards--who is a triple threat model, D.J., artist--will also show her work at Art Basel in Miami this December. She's moved from the canvas, though, to larger installation work.

"I tried to step outside the box," she said. "I did painting for a long time, you know; I'm more of a hands-on kind of girl. I just did a sculpting class. So I'm doing a bunch of Andy Warhol kind of inspired pieces. Pop art."

Richards is showing with Alec Carter, the graffiti artist known for the Monopoly man faces. She whimsically looked forward to potential collectors.

"If people buy it," she said. "I'll be going home empty handed but with a full heart."

Hotel on Rivington still has her paintings up and has commissioned more from her; she accepted the project, though she usually prefers to wait until inspiration strikes her rather than having an assignment.

"This art world is a lot bigger than I thought it would be when I moved to New York," she said. "Like, this is crazy.  You have to have an art dealer, all of these things."

Then in parting, she revealed that her half-sister Angela, whose mother is Italian-born actress Anita Pallenberg, is pregnant. Oh, how we love baby-bump journalism.

"I'm an auntie of three already," she said, thanks to her half-brother Marlon, and is looking forward to the family's new addition.