An American billionaire has made headlines around the world after he plastered a giant portrait of himself and his new wife on the side of one of his buildings as a “proclamation of love”.
Harry Macklowe, 82, the developer behind New York’s famed 432 Park Avenue building — the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere — installed the portrait of his new wife, Patricia Landeau, to mark their wedding last week, according to The New York Times.
The banner of the two lovebirds, which measures 42 feet by 24 foot (12.8 metres by 7.3 metres), was reportedly visible from blocks away in New York City.
Macklowe, who previously made headlines thanks to his expensive divorce proceedings in 2016, told The New York Times: “My wife looks gorgeous, and I love the picture of me.
“Since I wasn’t getting married during the summer in the Hamptons, I wasn’t able to hire an airplane with a banner to go up and down the shoreline. I thought: ‘I own a building. Why don’t I just hang a banner from my own building’?”
Meanwhile, he also told the New York Post: “Our smiling faces will be on a building that I built – and I am proud of my wife, my life, my friends and colleagues.”
However, some media outlets interpreted the very public display of affection as a swipe against his ex-wife, Linda Macklowe. Others took to social media to criticise the gesture, with one writing: “Shame on you #HarryMacklowe.”
Another said the poster took “petty to a whole new level”, while a third said it was proof “men never grow up”.
Meanwhile another said the move was “totally tacky and tasteless”.
The former couple, who have two adult children, were married for 58 years before a public split in 2016 that sparked the divorce trial. According to reports at the time, his ex-wife filed for divorce after it was revealed her husband had been secretly keeping Landeau in another of his properties. It ended in December when a judge ordered their $2 billion to be divided.
Ironically, the ABC pointed out the building was the same one at the centre of their divorce negotiations, with Macklowe and his ex-wife fighting over adjoining apartments. The former couple also fought at length over their waterfront East Hamptons home, and over their $990 million art collection, including pieces by Andy Warhol, Jeff Coons and Jackson Pollock.