At Artnet and Cadillac’s Soiree, Three Visionary Photographers Celebrate the Contemporary Goddess
At a modernist manse in Beverly Hills, artists Petra Collins, Dannielle Bowman, and Ming Smith mingle and muse on what a goddess means to them.
On February 15, the eve of Frieze L.A., Artnet and Cadillac fêted three visionary art photographers—Petra Collins, Dannielle Bowman, and Ming Smith—in a modern Beverly Hills mansion. All of the women reinterpreted the iconic Cadillac goddess ornament to celebrate the new ultra-luxury EV CELESTIQ. The original goddess debuted on the 1930 Cadillac. A gleaming, inky Series 62 coupe once owned by Clark Gable and Carole Lombard greeted arriving guests in the driveway (and served as a magnetic photo op throughout the night).
A stunning minimal, modernist home designed by father-and-son architect duo Miguel Angel and Rafael Aragones served as both party venue and art gallery to showcase the images (Rafael himself was in a attendance to survey the scene and his masterwork). The commissioned photographs are also being auctioned on Artnet, with proceeds benefiting Free Arts NYC. The evening started with the photographers getting cozy, swaddled underneath blankets to record the Art Angle podcast in the chilly night air with Artnet News’s executive producer, Sonia Manalili, hosting. Also on hand from Cadillac were Alexandra Dymowska, Senior Brand Designer, and Laetitia Lopez, Lead Colors, Materials and Finishes Designer. Both worked directly on the CELESTIQ.
“Every CELESTIQ will be a commissioned piece of art,” Lopez said. “No two vehicles will be alike, encouraging clients to work with a designer to envision and create their own masterpiece.”
A relaxed party atmosphere continued inside as the artists mingled with the guests. “It’s reductive to say that these works are really personal, because all artwork is personal,” Collins said. “But weirdly enough, these ones are especially so.” Her three ethereal photographs are mounted in bespoke chrome frames.
During her childhood in Toronto, the artist’s family drove a Cadillac, and she described having moments of calm in the car during her turbulent upbringing. “It was the one space where I felt the safest,” Collins said. “When I was in the car, I was always dissociative and somewhere else mentally, while also moving somewhere else physically.”
Cadillac’s executive design director, Bryan Nesbitt, spoke to a similar intention with the brand’s design ethos. “Automotive design has always been rooted in the importance of an artistic vision to create an emotional response,” he said. Artnet News’s editor-in-chief, Andrew Goldstein, arrived with fashion designer Sander Lak and actor Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. Other attendees included photographer Elizabeth Waterman, Art Basel’s global head of gallery relations Dunja Gottweis, art advisor Janice Bond, curator Sima Familant, legendary art dealer Douglas Chrismas, Paramount VP of Global Creative Jennifer Munley, artists Maya Fuhr and Esteban Jefferson, LA Dodger pitcher Victor Gonzalez, dean of USC School of Architecture Milton S.F. Curry, and advisor and collector Robert Galstian.
The commissioned work blended seamlessly with the surroundings, with all of the classic California elements present: the azure pool lit up against the hills; Light and Space art peppered through the sleek, ranch-style abode; and, of course, the impressive classic ride parked in the driveway.
Guests noshed on torched ahi tuna mini tostadas, filet mignon carpaccio, and salted butterscotch budino. Bakul Patki, who helped curate the event, remarked, “All three of the artists are so different, but so completely extraordinary in their process. Each has their own style. It’s so beautiful to see all of their work together in the end.”
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