Baldwin, Gere Perfect Art of Philanthropy

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Carey Lowell, Richard Gere and Coalition for the Homeless executive director Mary Brosnahan

Art, fundraising and fashion converge at the 16th annual Artwalk New York.

Stars and artists came out for Thursday’s Artwalk N.Y. at the Skylight Studio in Tribeca, benefiting the Coalition for the Homeless.
Pop art pioneer James Rosenquist was the evening’s artist honoree. His 2009 work, “The Hole in the Wallpaper Be Beautiful,” fetched $150,000, the highest price in the live auction that also featured works from Nan Goldin, Andy Warhol, Jenny Holzer, Francesco Clemente, Jeff Koons and Andres Serrano, among others.
The award to philanthropy honorees Gail & Al Engelberg was presented by Carey Lowell, who sparred on stage with her husband and fellow Artwalk co-chair, Richard Gere, saying, “I will sleep with you tonight, but I will not share a podium.”
Gere spoke of his humbling experiences volunteering for the coalition. He recalled the eye-opening shock while serving as a shelter monitor of meeting an actor who had been on a movie with him years earlier and was now homeless.
“It’s not like I can just pretend to be homeless and make a movie about it,” said Gere. “This is real life.”
Sharing co-chair duties for the fourth year was Alec Baldwin, who said with his trademark mock severity, “Richard told us in great detail about his hard work out volunteering in the shelters and on the feeding lines. Frankly, I don’t give a shit about all that. I just want your money.”
Baldwin whipped the crowd into a final giving sprint by auctioning off kisses and photos, helping to raise the evening’s tally to a record high of near $850,000. The actor was outbid on a Wade Guyton work that went for $49,000, but he did slap down $10,000 to take home a Joseph O. Holmes photograph.
Other attendees at the event, which was sponsored by Fendi, included Caroline Rhea, Narciso Rodriguez, John Varvatos and “Gossip Girl” regulars Matthew Settle and Zuzanna Szadkowski.