The Week in Art: BOFFO Holds Narcissists Ball, Chashama Lights Up Times Square
The crowds came prepared to dance.
From the East Side to the West Side, there’s always something happening at the city’s museums, galleries, and various event spaces. This week was no exception, with the added West Coast bonus of the hotly-anticipated opening of the first temporary exhibition at the Broad in Los Angeles.
The Narcissists Ball Honoring Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Nicola Formichetti, and Ryan McNamara
For this year’s event, following on the heels of “In Politics We Trust,” the art and architecture nonprofit’s campaign poster project, “We wanted to chose a venue for the benefit that felt very ‘iconically America,'” co-founder Faris Al-Shathir told artnet News.
Perhaps as a result, getting there was not for the faint of heart: It took a trip to New Jersey and two separate boat rides to get to The Honorable William Wall, the floating clubhouse for the Manhattan Yacht Club, but it was all well worth it. Anchored just off of Ellis Island, guests were treated to lobster rolls and clear blue skies after a day of torrential rains, with spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, particularly One World Trade, designed by one of the evening’s honorees, architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
2016 chashama Gala Honoring Dustin Yellin
On June 8, the former Conde Nast building at 4 Times Square was transformed into an artists’ playground by chashama, a non-profit curatorial group run by Anita Durst. Yes, Durst as in those Dursts—the Durst Organization owns the building, and regularly lets chashama take over its unused spaces to fantastic artistic affect.
Over 100 interactive environments, performances, and artists’ projects curated by Durst overran the building’s fourth floor, including the whimsical cafeteria designed by Frank Gehry for his first New York project way back in 2000. Highlights included what artist Kit Lagreze described to artnet News as “collaborative floral design,” and a stunning wedding dress/sculpture covered in dripping candles by Flambeaux, plus the artsiest naked sushi we’ve ever seen, from Abby Hertz.
Japanese Garden Centennial Gala at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Guests including Reiichiro Takahashi, the ambassador and consul general of Japan; actress Angela Lansbury; and garden president Scot Medbury gathered on June 7 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the garden’s Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. Jazz pianist and composer Toshiko Akiyoshi was honored with the garden’s Visionary Award for her six-decade career.
A strolling cocktail hour led down to the Lily Pool Terrace, where attendees enjoyed fried soft shell crab buns, an impressive raw bar, and a traditional performance from the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York before repairing to the Cherry Esplanade for dinner, dancing, and dessert.
AFRICA’SOUT! 2016 CELEBRATION
For its second annual benefit, Wangechi Mutu’s AFRICA’SOUT! continued its work to support art and social justice for members of the African diaspora. The event, held on June 3 at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, raised money for UHAI EASHRI, an organization in Nairobi dedicating to promoting sexual and reproductive rights in East Africa.
“I want people to understand where gay rights are in East Africa and do something that actually makes an impact,” Mutu told okayafrica. “So that’s what Africa’s Out! is, it’s this big, big powerful love fest of politically minded cultural makers coming together to do good stuff, important stuff quickly.”
The evening honored activist photographer Zanele Muholi, and counted artists Mickalene Thomas and Hank Willis Thomas; singer Santigold, who performed; and DJ April Hunt, who kicked off the post-dinner after party, among its attendees.
“Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life” Opening
In Los Angeles, the Broad’s first special exhibition, featuring Cindy Sherman, opened with a private preview and dinner. In addition to Sherman and museum founders and mega-collectors Eli and Edythe Broad, the star-studded guest list included actor Orlando Bloom, pop star Katy Perry, and an impressive slate of artists, from John Baldessari and Barbara Kruger to Ed Ruscha and Kenny Scharf.
After taking in the show, Sherman’s first in the city in nearly two decades, guests attended chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s Otium for an intimate meal.
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