The Whitney Museum's Studio Party Draws Leandra Medine, Emily Weiss
Fashion insiders and art enthusiasts alike flocked to the Whitney Museum of American Art's annual Gala on Tuesday night.
Art enthusiasts and those just looking for an excuse to dress up came out in throngs on Tuesday night for the Whitney Museum of American Art's annual Gala and Studio Party, celebrating it's one-year anniversary of the Museum's move downtown. To kick off the night, which was presented by Louis Vuitton, a private seated dinner for 600 selected guests took place in the Museum's largest exhibition space: the 18,020-square-foot fifth floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries (Bluhm was also a gala co-chair).
Guests like singer Rufus Wainwright, artists Chuck Close, Laurie Simmons and Julian Schnabel mingled around with Man Repeller's Leandra Medine, designer Wes Gordon, Into the Gloss founder Emily Weiss and Crystal Moselle. "I was actually in Peru yesterday," said Moselle, a producer and filmmaker well-known for her film Wolfpack. (She's currently working on a "new documentary series on women dealing with the water crisis.") "How can you not be passionate about such an amazing establishment such as the Whitney?" said the co-host of the Studio Party, which was held following the gala. "But it's strange. Just two days ago, I was in this small town talking to 500 people about how they didn't have water for themselves."
Before making their way down to the Studio Party, where those not lucky enough to earn entry to the Gala would be dancing between light installations, a temporary tattoo booth and to the music of Zen Freeman and Chelsea Leyland, the guests of the gala were treated to a very special treat: a multi-song performance by Seal. "This is embarrassing, but you know how you know his songs when you hear them, but I couldn't tell you their names," fashion designer Wes Gordon laughed after the performance. Gordon was perfectly assembled in a Tom Ford tuxedo — a rather formal attired amongst a room of "deconstructed black tie."
Several of the gala guests stuck around for the Studio Party, or rather "afterparty," as the room ballooned with the late-night crowd. One of these included esteemed contemporary artist Chuck Close, who said he's been coming to the museum's events for 40 years. "It's changed a lot, but not necessarily for the better," he said. "There were a lot of artists, and now there's not very many artists." Instead he said, there is a wider mixture of guests. The skeptical photorealist, however, did note he enjoyed the dinner earlier, and Seal's performance, saying "a dinner like that, you gotta be placed well. Your stuck there for the whole thing." His table mates, he mentioned, included his girlfriend.
TRUE ARTIST: Photorealist Chuck Close at the Whitney Museum of American Art's annual Gala and Studio Party. (Photo: BFA)