Thursday, March 13, 2008

Whitney Biennial Part I -- Forget the art, what were they wearing?

Truth be told, everyone's already done a blog of some sort on the Whitney Biennial, and most of them focus on the art, as rightly should. Some liked it, some didn't-- such is life. I, as well, liked some of it; some not so much-- such is life. Anyway, lately I'm finding it more and more difficult to get in my writing time. Getting those precious hours to see exhibits is difficult when you work in a gallery, but there is an added benefit-- being able to go to "opening nights" and the occasional "museum function." So instead of focusing as much on the art of the Whitney in my first post-- which was generally unanimously agreed as being totally bereft of all color other than beige and grey-- let's talk about what the people were wearing, because we all know that's what really matters in the world of art biennials!!

Of course first up there was A.A. Bronson riding in the elevator directly next to me. Little did he know that directly next to him was the girl who had given his recent John Connelly show a negative review. I hunkered down, slouching my shoulders, hiding behind my program. Either way, Bronson's beautiful purple kurta struck me quite dramatically in the sea of non-color. To say nothing of those glasses of his. Quite funky. And sure enough, down the stairwell was dealer Tony Shafrazi adorned in a dramatic purple tie with that shocking piece of white hair of his. I found it funny that I go to the ArtForum Diary, and sure enough, there he was right next to Bronson. Literally in the order I encountered him.

(Jeffrey "I'm pretty darn adorably cute and not really an ice cream cone" Deitch
care of New York Magazine, photo by Patrick McMullan)

In fact, purple was the color of the evening. Lots of dresses and boots, and platform stillettos in the hue. But leave it to Jeffrey Deitch as always to have the best suit and tie combo. Purple and white stripes. Glasses as always impeccable. True, he is NOT shaped like an ice cream cone, as Deitch's website so deceptively portrays. Could it be that they have taken artistic license with his persona? Perhaps. I did not ask him what his favorite flavor was, and instead, smiled at my slight pace behind the legend himself. There's something about Deitch that makes me want to hug him. Yes, I find his lil' mug cute, even though I can occassionally art the "trash" he shows. Ahem... cough.. Nestnnnest...nest...dsshhh...snowcone... colon cancer... Cough. Sorry, frog in my throat. Go to for the to-die-for ice cream cone man with music to boot.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun people watching. I enjoyed the scene as photogs blasted away taking pics of Doreen Remen (a member of the Art Production Fund trio of power grrrls) in her "message art" dress, off the shoulders, D.I.Y., very punk, very Vivienne Westwood, very WHAM! "Make it Big!". No, seriously. Where was the "Choose Life" shirts and Andrew Ridgeley? Not sure of the designer it was, but it rocked, as did the general feel of fashion taking over the art. Oh, wait. Did I say that? Oh, that's right. The two are one. Fashion is art. Art is fashion. We have osmosis. Yeah.

Certainly I don't expect these functions to communicate to the masses, because part of the biggest problem with contemporary art today is the fact it speaks only to those within its community. The "man on the street" quotient is completely obliterated. Then the gliterrati sits back and says, "Why don't people support the arts?" Well, maybe because we're putting in sculptures based on the shapes of bird shit, for one, and then calling it Giacometti. Uh... no. But alas, that's another post. Enjoy.



hr_g said...

This is the BEST Biennial post yet...more importantly, what were YOU wearing? I want to know what the blogger dress code was at the biennial.

Oly said...

I was wearing a kimono style silk black wrap top with baggy jeans that didn't fit right.

I topped it off with black heels that have seen better days-- i.e., the heels have almost worn off.


I called it my Geisha white trash meets uptown girl look.