Just when you thought that the New York gala and social scene couldn’t be bested, last week, the Whitney Contemporaries threw its Whitney Art Party: “The Groundbreakers,” at Highline Stages. The event, which followed the nearby groundbreaking for the museum’s eventual Renzo Piano-designed relocation, was piloted by honorary co-chairs—the New York Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire (in a sleek Calvin Klein Collection suit), style- empress Shala Monroque, and jewelry king Eddie Borgo. Moët Hennessy and Phillips de Pury lent their generous support for the party.
The boisterous and glistening affair, indubitably surpassed Rankin’s alluring opening next door at Milk art gallery (even with a leggy Heidi Klum present). Turned into a mesmerizingly emerald paradise, Highline Stages played gallery to an exciting array of art work up for silent auction. A forceful assortment of youthful art collectors and allies bustled around the 88 diverse and desirable contemporary works, while tossing down Moët and Belvedere cocktails.
Spotted dancing, posing, conversing, and preening were: Maggie Betts, Claude Morais and Brian Wolk, Prabal Gurung, Erin Fetherston, Lulu Frost’s Lisa Salzer, Vogue’s Meredith Melling Burke and Lawren Howell, design-duo Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie, couture-devotee Michelle Harper, Lauren Santo Domingo, the talented Amit Greenberg (whose work was on auction), Jason Wu, PR-guru Megan Maguire Steele, twosome Andrew Andrew, creative Monique Péan, socialite Elizabeth Kurpis (in breathtaking Peter Dundas for Emilio Pucci), designer Chadwick Bell, Lady Liliana Cavendish, model Joan Smalls, ELLE’s Kate Lanphear, Lauren Remington Platt, and designer Yigal Azrouël. Harley Viera Newton, Slater Bradley, and mirror image Ben Brock, all provided beats to fuel the movement.
The Whitney Art Party raises crucial funds, through the auction, to sustain the Whitney’s venerable Independent Study Program. The program enables students pursuing art practice, curatorial work, art historical scholarship, and critical writing, the opportunity to engage in an ongoing discourse about the historical, social, and intellectual conditions of artistic production.