Thursday, June 25, 2009

Art is Alive, Beautiful and Walking Around

Zac Posen with buy at I ♥ Gen Art benefit. (Photo by Hal Horowitz.)

IT is not the art on the walls (or celebs i.e., Zac Posen above) that first grabs the attention of Yours Truly at the I ♥ Gen Art: 15th Anniversary Benefit (the party arm of the Gen Art Foundation)tonight. (It is the mission of the foundation( to make the world a better place by throwing money and other resources at promising painters, photographers, filmmakers and designers so that they can bring a bit of beauty and culture to our dreary lives. Tonight, there are creations by more than 60 artisans for direct sale and through auction.

No, I am struck by the sight of so many handsome men in one place outside of a casting (I have reason to attend castings because in the last year I have been doing … er … a bit of modeling and acting). These stylish Adonises appear to be of every sexual persuasion, height, color, creed and slim body type. Living art, including the duo Ebony (Alain) and Ivory (Micheal). An acquaintance drags me over to meet them. Alain who is no doubt the spawn of an Egyptian/Roman/Ethiopian god is also a mortal and CEO of a Paris-based mobile phone marketing company. He’s in the New World to raise awareness and money for his concern. Michael who walked off the cover of a romance novel is a “leisurepreneur.” He gives me to know that a leisurepreneur is someone who carves out a lot of time to have fun while simultaneously making his millions. And he would have thrown some of his millions at one of the pieces on the wall if some other Moneybags had not gotten there first.

And then there’s Duncan Quinn. I clap eyes on him while my acquaintance and I are standing at the bar trough (where there is no wine – still or sparkling). I raise my hand in hello and he waves back. I know he’s wondering, “Who is that?”

DQ is a Brit who has made a name for himself designing men’s suits with a nod to both Rock ‘n’ Roll and Saville Row. DQ is also a huckster. Last year he threw what, on the surface, was a party at the Classic Car Club in Soho (owned by a DQ friend/associate). There was a deejay (DQ friend) rocking the house. And shutterbugs (DQ friends) whose cameras were ever ready. Even the people behind the bar and hor d’oeuvres were DQ friends. The joint was jumpin’, and commerce was taking place: In a corner of the showroom that is home to some exotic and classic sports cars, he’d set up a haberdashery shop (men could be measured for suits on demand). A few weeks ago his Soho joint and the adjoining sidewalk were jumpin’ when he announced the bits of pink in his new collection. Pink was the dress code at the Rosé Party. “No pink. No drink.,” threatened the words on the invitation. The drink: an fabulous and endless Rosé d'Anjou. It costs a lot less than a DQ suit.

OK. Enough about men. Back to the art. One piece in particular draws me in. It’s a huge photo of Fidel’s face, an over-the-shoulder shot. Haunting, mysterious, intimidating, resolute – all enhanced by the graininess in the image. I move in closer. Still closer to see who snapped it and what they’re asking. At $5,000, it is one of the most expensive pieces hanging. And it’s not Fidel. It’s DeNiro. Men!

The I ♥ Gen Art: 15th Anniversary Benefit was 24 June.

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