Diane Keaton and Paul McCarthy Honored at Hammer Museum’s Annual Gala
McCarthy spoke about Mike Kelley and terrible art parties.
The Hammer Museum’s annual Gala in the Garden is known for seamlessly blending Hollywood and the art world in a manner that’s quintessentially LA, and this year’s festivities were no different.
“It’s a great collision isn’t it?” artist and director Sam Taylor Johnson told the Hollywood Reporter. “I can’t think of anything that straddles the worlds of Diane Keaton and Paul McCarthy. Two completely different disciplines and styles of artists, but at the same time both very forefront artistic-thinking people.”
Taylor Johnson co-chaired the evening alongside her husband Aaron Johnson, cinematographer Danny Moder, Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier, and Julia Roberts. Stars such as Elizabeth Banks, Kiernan Shipka, Jane Lynch, Selma Blair, Emma Stone, Salma Hayek, Marisa Tomei, Steve Martin, and Will Ferrell were just some names among the almost 600 attendees.
Stone had the honor of presenting Keaton with her award, while McCarthy’s was given by Matthew Barney, whose first major solo museum show, “River of Fundament,” opened across town at the Museum of Contemporary Art in September.
“His work is critical of the world and appropriates and defiles, but at the core of this work is a startling joy…he is loving every minute of it,” Barney said in his introduction. According to Women’s Wear Daily, McCarthy’s acceptance speech was a bit like a performance artwork—a rambling, stream-of-consciousness endeavor read straight from the artist’s iPhone.
“Mike Kelley tells me he hates parties…They are about nothing…raising money, mania, status,” McCarthy recalled in the speech. “I told Mike there are, this is, another way of looking, of supporting other artists. Acknowledging the community and the importance of art…” he managed to say.
The evening included an after dinner performance by hip hop artist Aloe Blacc, who was apparently starstruck by the invitation to perform. “They told me that Sia performed last year and Katy Perry the year before that, so I thought somebody made a mistake when they invited me,” he said.
Guests also took a moment to actually view the art, an activity that (perhaps unsurprisingly) doesn’t happen at every gala, with many guests too busy schmoozing and swilling cocktails to head into the galleries.
“There’s no way to talk about art without sounding like an asshole,” actress Amanda Peet cheekily admitted to New York magazine.
But for Frances Stark, whose work was on display, the evening was a surreal experience. “I feel like I’m on ecstasy,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “Will Ferrell is here, and then I saw the guy who was the head of my graduate program in the ’90s, and then I saw one of my professors from the ’90s.”
See images from the event below.
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