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Andy Richter will take over hosting duties for the Sexy Beast 2016 gala, a fundraiser to benefit Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, at Ace Hotel on Sept. 10. As with the fete’s first iteration two years ago, hosted by Jack Black, there will be an art auction featuring an incredible group of artists, specially designed auction paddles and a special performance.
“Andy Richter is an outspoken supporter of women’s rights, Planned Parenthood and a number of other political issues, so his response was, ‘Yes yes yes!’ ” said Sexy Beast co-chair Davida Nemeroff when reached by phone. Nemeroff, along with Mieke Marple, runs one of the top contemporary art spaces in Los Angeles, Night Gallery. Eliah Perona — whose background is in high-end event and theater production — joins Nemeroff and Marple as a chairperson this year.
“I’ve actually heard that Andy Richter is the funniest living person,” said Nemeroff, whose brother Nick Nemeroff is a burgeoning (and very funny) comedian. Night Gallery hosts comedy at the gallery on an occasional basis. “It’s funny that he has the time to do it, because it furthers the joke from Arrested Development, when he’s [playing himself] supposed to host the Bluth fundraiser, but he’s one of quintuplets, and he sends out his brothers. For me, it was a dream come true that I get to see this play out in real life.”
Viveca Paulin-Ferrell, who has become well regarded around town for her feisty auctioneering, will lead the live auction. Works are available from an impressive roster of artists such as Larry Bell, Camille Henrot, Marcel Dzama, Jasper Johns, Barbara Kruger, Robert Mapplethorpe, Paul McCarthy, Julie Mehretu, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha and Marilyn Minter. Critically acclaimed Los Angeles artist Math Bass made this year’s auction paddle (Alex Israel designed it in 2014), while Mutant Salon is “activating the space,” according to Nemeroff. “The whole of the fundraising happens from the artists donations. Without the artists, we wouldn’t be able to fundraise. A lot of the artists have made new works for benefit, which is incredibly generous of them, and we tried to have an interesting and eclectic group of artists that we curated into the benefit.”
The special performance is as yet unannounced, but if 2014’s dance performance choreographed by Ryan Heffington is anything to go by, it will be a top-notch routine. “I hope that magic thing happens where everyone comes together and with the energy in the theater, and that people open their hearts to the cause and give generously,” says Perona.
Marple agreed that the time since the first Sexy Beast has upped the ante for this year’s fundraiser. “When we did it in 2014, and Obamacare had started, we were like, ‘Oh God, is it even relevant?’ ” said Marple. “Are we on the way to health care for every citizen, and is this going to be a passe cause in a couple years?”
Hardly: Sexy Beast will present the second Sexy Beast Award to Dawn Porter, director of the documentary Trapped — about so-called TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws, which impose onerous regulations on abortion clinics that often force them to close; the documentary is a sobering take on the effect those laws have on women around the country. The award itself is designed by L.A. artist Kathleen Ryan, and was presented to actor-director Jenny Slate last year for her film Obvious Child, in which she starred as a woman struggling with an abortion.
Also new this year: a limited edition of 100 “The Future Is Female” neoprene sweatshirts designed by L.A. feminist boutique Otherwild and custom clothing manufacturers Print All Over Me. As with the event, 100 percent of sweatshirt sale proceeds will go to PPLA.
Says Perona of the event, “It’s definitely a place where people who ‘get it’ can come together and really focus and contribute or use their platform or any power that they have towards supporting Planned Parenthood, which has an incredible impact on our community.”
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