A match that appeared to be made in heaven has come to a crashing end after less than two years.
Tara Subkoff, the actress, fashion designer, artist, and filmmaker, announced in March that she and husband Urs Fischer, the Swiss-born neo-Dadaist artist she wed in October 2014, were six months pregnant.
She did not announce that Fischer had filed for divorce in Manhattan Supreme Court two months earlier, and it was only a month after the birth of their daughter Grace George that Subkoff revealed that the marriage was over – and that dad had skipped out to Moscow and had yet to meet his new daughter.
Subkoff was a widely regarded “It girl” of 1990s movie fame, with a breakout role starring opposite Martin Sheen in the 1994 thriller “When the Bough Breaks.”
She went on to win roles in other well-known films, including “As Good As It Gets,” “The Notorious Betty Page,” and Whit Stillman’s “The Last Days of Disco,” where she co-starred with Chloe Sevigny, who remains a close friend.
In the 2000s, Subkoff created an art collective that grew into a boutique fashion line called Imitation of Christ, which focused on recycled, hand-sewn clothing made from thrift store finds.
Sevigny was deeply involved in the project for a time, and was one of 36 guests at the Subkoff-Fischer wedding reception at Soho’s Navy, along with Scarlett Johansson, Romain Dauriac, Jeffrey Deitch, and artist Hope Atherton.
Chef Camille Becerra presented the party with a four course menu to celebrate the event.
Urs Fischer is a world-renowned artist and sculptor whose work has been featured in galleries, exhibitions, and as installations across the globe.
He is the artist responsible for the 20-ton, 23-foot-tall cast-bronze teddy bear, apparently impaled by or wearing, a giant desk lamp that displayed in front of the Seagram Building on Park Avenue.
Fischer is also the creative mind behind the more recent 43-foot-tall, freestanding Big Clay #4 sculpture in the same location.
Fischer was previously married to a Swiss girlfriend, and the couple lived together in London for five years, but divorced in 2003.
Fischer cited their time apart while he launched his star in the European art world as the major cause of their breakup, and describes the split as “amicable.”
He’s lived in New York for the last decade, mostly with American artist Cassandra MacLeod, with whom he had his first child, daughter Lotti.
Subkoff and Fischer resided in a Soho apartment, along with Lotti when she wasn’t with her mother.
The pair seem to have fed each other’s creative impulses well, and in 2015 Subkoff made her directorial debut with the film “#Horror,” starring Sevigny and Orange is the New Black’s Natasha Lyonne.
The film deals with cyberbullying, and as recently as early January, the couple sat down with a writer from New York Magazine to discuss the film and their collaboration on the visual aesthetic, under the headline, “Can art school’s cool kids grow up to be anti-bullying activists?”.
If there was trouble ahead, they didn’t reveal it in the interview.
In March, Fischer, who tends to work in giant-scale pieces, opened a downsized show at JTT gallery on the Lower East Side.
Subkoff announced the pregnancy from Los Angeles, but it’s unclear whether Fischer was with her on the trip.
By June, Fischer was in Moscow laying preparation for the opening of his “YES” project at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.
The museum is celebrating its first anniversary at a permanent location in Gorky Park, and featuring a survey of Fischer’s work called ‘Small Axe.’
The YES project happens outdoors, and invites members of the public to create their own clay sculptures..
Which means that Fischer hasn’t been in New York while his wife has given birth to their baby.
Subkoff has been documenting her first month of motherhood extensively, and lovingly, on Instagram.
Subkoff recently told the New York Post, “I am so lucky to have given birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl named Grace George Subkoff-Fischer. Sadly, her father, Urs Fischer, was not present at her birth and has not yet met his daughter.”
The divorce was reportedly filed in Manhattan Supreme Court in January by Urs Fischer and is being heard by Justice Matthew Cooper.
The court has described the divorce as “contentious,” and Cooper has sealed the proceedings from the public, so it remains to be seen what details will come to light in the next months while this plays out.
It may be notable that Fischer, an apparently engaged father with his first daughter, hasn’t so much as met his second child.
At this time there’s no reason to believe that Fischer is challenging paternity in the case, but if he does, steering well clear of any of the obligations of fatherhood is the only way to hope to prevail in New York.
Paternity is always presumed when a couple is married, and even if the mother acknowledges infidelity (which, again, there’s no reason to believe is the case here), the court will still assign child support obligations to the husband.
In cases of same-sex marriage, courts have been applying the same custom, so if one spouse is not biologically related to the baby, they are still subject to the responsibilities that go with paternity.
Divorces, whether the marriage has been long or short, include all sorts of drama.
Among creative people in the midst of blossoming careers, the stresses of the work itself, the travel, and the responsibility to constantly produce new ideas can be more than the marriage can sustain.
That doesn’t mean that successful people owe each other nothing when the marriage fails.
From child support to a proper accounting of marital assets, even in a short marriage, both parties should get everything that’s owed to them.
When you’re considering divorce in Brooklyn, work with the most experienced team available.
At Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino, we make sure our clients are protected during and after a divorce, and that their kids are taken care of.
Call 718-725-9601 today and talk to an experienced Brooklyn divorce lawyer for free.