Louis Vuitton Presents the 2015 MOCA Gala

Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae

Photo Credit: WireImage for MOCAArt world luminaries and entertainers alike stepped out on Saturday evening to attend the Louis Vuitton-presented 2015 MOCA gala in honor of John Baldessari.  

Over 770 guests including board members Mark Bradford, Susan Gersh, Mark Grotjahn, Barbara Kruger, Jamie McCourt, Catherine Opie and Sutton Stracke as well as Patricia Arquette, Rosanna Arquette, Albert Brooks, Gia Coppola, Aaron Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson, Joanna Kerns, Nathalie Love, Janelle Monáe, Wolfgang Puck, Britt Robertson, Tessa Thompson, Marisa Tomei, Alex Van Halen, Dita Von Teese; artists such as Doug Aitken, Petra Cortright, Tacita Dean, Shepard Fairey, Alex Israel, Kahlil Joseph, Nate Lowman, William Pope.L, Kour Pour, Rob Pruitt, Ed Ruscha; and art world luminaries such as Tim Blum, China Chow, John Connolly, Cecilia Dean, Bridget Finn, Andrea Fiuczynski and Frank Gehry attended the swanky soiree, which was held at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA downtown.

manda Fairey, Eric White, actress Patricia Arquette and artist Shepard Fairey
Amanda Fairey, Eric White, actress Patricia Arquette and artist Shepard Fairey

Photo Credit: Wireimage for MOCAUpon arrival, guests viewed the William Pope L: Trinket exhibition showcasing new and recent work by the Chicago-based artist, an essential figure in the development of performance and body art since the 1980s. They enjoyed an outdoor cocktail reception under a Frank Gehry-designed canopy, set to music by DJ Kiss. Guests were offered a variety of hors d’oeuvres by Wolfgang Puck while a specially designed Caesarstone bar serving cocktails and Ruinart Blance de Blancs NV.

After the reception and preview, gala guests proceeded through a modern, bronze-floored entrance to a white- draped gala tent filled with under lit glass tables. The dinner décor paid homage to Baldessari, highlighting his famous “dots” among other prominent works.

 Joy Venturini Bianchi (L) and Dita Von Teese
Joy Venturini Bianchi (L) and Dita Von Teese

Photo Credit: Wireimage for MOCA

MOCA Board Co-Chair and Gala Chair Lilly Tartikoff Karatz welcomed guests, thanking her co-chair Maurice Marciano for making the gala possible, the museum’s Board for their remarkable commitment to raise MOCA’s endowment and preserve its independence, and Louis Vuitton for their long-standing partnership and support for MOCA and for the arts.

Dinner continued while MOCA Director Philippe Vergne took to the stage to welcome and thank the many MOCA supporters and art patrons in attendance.  As dessert was served, special guest performer Janelle Monáe took to the stage. The Atlanta-based artist brought the house down with her unique psychedelic-soul and R&B sound. Guests danced to her hits Tightrope, Primetime, and Dance Apocalytic.

MOCA Director Philippe Vergne (L) and honoree John Baldessari
MOCA Director Philippe Vergne (L) and honoree John Baldessari

Photo Credit: Wireimage for MOCA Dancing and after dinner cocktails continued into the early hours of the morning as the musical trio DJ Philippe Paris, saxophonist Florencio Cruz and violinist Julio Cuba closed the night.

All in all, the gala raised over $3 million net to support the museum’s operations and follows MOCA’s recent success in raising its endowment to an historic high of over $120 million.