NEW YORK – A performance artist who said giving birth is the “highest form of art” has delivered a baby boy – inside a New York City art gallery.

Marni Kotak gave birth at 10:17 a.m. on Tuesday, the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn said in a brief statement, adding that everyone was recuperating on Wednesday. It said the baby, named Ajax, was 21 inches long and weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces.

The gallery said 19 to 20 people were present for the relatively quick birth in a birthing pool. The gallery gave no other details. A video of the birth will be added to the gallery’s upcoming exhibition.

The 36-year-old artist had set up a home-birth center at the gallery, turning the space into a brightly decorated bedroom with ocean blue walls and photo-imprinted pillows.

During “The Birth of Baby X” durational piece, which began Oct. 8, Kotak spent as much time at the gallery as possible talking to visitors about motherhood, art and other issues. She said those who left their contact information would be notified when she went into labor.

Kotak, who was born in Norwood, Mass., said all her performances focus on everyday life experiences.

She has been re-enacting events from her life for more than 10 years, including her own birth, losing her virginity in “a sunny blue Plymouth” and her grandfather’s funeral.

In combining the birth of her child with artistic expression, Kotak said she wanted to show “this amazing life performance that … is essentially hidden from public view” and that addresses social taboos regarding the human body.

The entire gallery was given over to the installation. The artist even carved out space for a fully-stocked refrigerator and a portable shower with curtain pockets filled with photos from her three baby showers.

Kotak said she and her husband will share the details of the birth with their child “over time as an organic process.”

Coroner: Singer ingested fatal levels of alcohol

LONDON — Amy Winehouse drank herself to death. That was the ruling of a coroner’s inquest into the death of the Grammy-winning soul singer, who died with empty vodka bottles in her room and lethal amounts of alcohol in her blood – more than five times the British drunk driving limit.

Coroner Suzanne Greenaway gave a verdict of “death by misadventure,” saying Wednesday the singer suffered accidental alcohol poisoning when she resumed drinking after weeks of abstinence.

“The unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels (of alcohol) was her sudden and unexpected death,” Greenaway said.

Winehouse, 27, had fought drug and alcohol abuse for years. A pathologist said the small amount of a drug prescribed to cope with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal had nothing to do with her death.

Actress gives praise for role as mother

ROME — A new mother herself, Penelope Cruz says her current film role as a single mom is one of the most beautiful characters she has ever played.

Cruz made a cameo appearance in Rome on Wednesday night on the eve of the Rome Film Festival.

She had been in Bosnia recently filming Sergio Castellitto’s “Venuto al Mondo” about a single woman who brings her teenage son to Sarajevo, where the boy’s father died during the 1990s Bosnian conflict.

Madoff’s wife on TV

NEW YORK — The wife of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff says they tried to kill themselves after he admitted stealing billions of dollars in the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

Ruth Madoff will appear on Sunday’s episode of CBS’ “60 Minutes.” It’s her first interview since her husband’s December 2008 arrest.

She says the time after his arrest was “horrendous” – receiving angry phone calls and hate mail.

Ruth Madoff says they took “a bunch of pills” including Ambien on Christmas Eve, but both woke up the next day. She says the decision was “very impulsive” and she’s glad they didn’t die.