Thu 6 Mar 2008
Whitney Biennial 2008 New York Pre Party
I love attending art opening parties. First, there’s the free flowing wine, food and entertainment. But more importantly, you get to mingle with a very unique mix of people including real artists, wanna-be-artists, people who want to be seen with artists, celebrities who think they are cooler when surrounded by artists, hardcore anti establishment folks, and of course the rich patrons (mostly cougars) who can afford the art. I guess I’m a wanna-be-artist cause believe it or not I have a degree in Art History and tried to oil paint at one point in my life.
Last night, thanks to our friend Brooke, several of my coworkers and I attended the mother load of all museum opening parties – the coveted Whitney Biennial. It was awesome. We arrived at 6:30pm and I was happy to find 3 food trucks parked outside: DessertTruck.com, TreatsTruck.com and a Waffle truck. Although DessertTruck had the premium parking space on the corner of 75th and Madison, I think TreatsTruck was the winner. By hustling free samples of cookies and brownies, she instantly got a small line of customers to line up.
At exactly 7 pm the doors of the museum opened and we rushed down to the VIP section in the basement where the wine and food was being served. A DJ and a live band alternated for musical entertainment. It was loud, packed solid and it wasn’t until I noticed between listening to New Order’s ‘Ceremony’ and The Smiths’ ‘This Charming Man’ (2 of my most favorite 80s bands btw) that several hours had already passed and we were well into our 8th or 9th glass of wine (thanks Welby). It was also at that point in time that I spotted the 2nd person this week wearing a hoody with a tie. Am I slow? Has this been happening for awhile? Or could this possibly be the next new thing? Lynn went to talk to him and he turned out to be kind of an idiot so I’m not going to give him much credit for his fashion statement. After a few more rounds of wine, we stumbled over to the elevators and finally went upstairs to check out the art. I was particularly drawn to Robert Bechtle’s paintings of the streets of San Francisco. Having lived in the Bay Area, I felt that Bechtle, considered one of the early photorealist painters, does an incredible job capturing the unique quality of the California daylight with a lingering stillness of time. As I was admiring one of his paintings I physically backed up into someone who happened to also be from SF and share my same views. She described herself as anti-advertising and an independent thinker. (If she only knew where I worked) Maybe it was because of the quantity of the wine we drank but all I can remember next was a pretty fun conversation about how to balance particles of neutrality and happiness in your life and the afterlife. It was heavy, dude. About 45 mins later, I somehow ended up reconnecting with my friends, rushing through the rest exhibit and going out for mountains of sushi at Wasabi Lobby. Although I’m a little disappointed that I ended up spending so much time getting trashed in the VIP section in the basement instead of exploring the art, I think the experience of interacting with the fun people at the show was equally entertaining. No worries, I’ll be returning for sure to check out the art (sober) and maybe then I’ll be the one wearing the hoody and tie.
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