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December 7, 2005

You really can't parody the gawkers at Scene and Herd...

Or maybe you can...

Tyler Green tried his hand at just that just this morning:

Just after I landed back in Washington, the capital of the free world, not to mention Eli Broad and Steven Cohen's least favorite place to be during the fall auctions (sorry Weschler's!), Larry Gagosian emailed me to say that I should have skipped Marty Margulies' party in honor of Kota Ezawa and Mike Kelley (I didn't even know they were dating!) in Miami's swinging-but-slummy fashion district and instead gone to Donatella Versace's dinner for Wolfgang Tillmans, Bruce Weber and Helmut Newton over at Gloria Estefan's Luis Pons-designed manse, where some new, unrepresented Leipzig painters were said to be frolicking in the hot tub. I didn't have the heart to put GoGo on hold so that I could phone Donatella to tell her that Helmut was dead (the things you miss while in rehab—I know Dona, I know), so I played along.

"But Larry, Yvonne Force said she wanted to me to see Todd Purdum light Graydon Carter's cigarettes all night long because Todd has this totally fabulous butane torch that he received as a gift from Muccia when he visted Milan after having dinner with Jeff Koons in Venice in the summer," I said. "So I followed Yvonne—she looked so fabulous in that orange Guicci number how could you not follow her—and we bumped into Julian Schnabel and Lisa Dennison. And after we left Marty's we traipsed over to see the new Jasper Johns paintings at Jason Rubell's house."

Nice, but there's just no beating the real deal...

Trân Dúc Vân:

Next was Jeffrey Deitch. Cordial in khaki, he greeted me and my date for the evening with a friendly handshake and an "Oh," which I guess meant he wasn't expecting us. As if sensitive to our busy schedules, he offered the scoop in precis form: On the left is the best American street artist (Swoon), on the right the best of Brazil (Os Gemeos), and upstairs it's the Live Through This artists. As we walked away, my date whispered, "What are the Live Through This artists?" I explained that Live Through This was Jeffrey's latest festive concoction, a book that, as near as I could tell, chronicles something like spring break for the freebasing set, but that it also involved art. Fearing that the crowds on the stairwell had made me unfairly brisk, I added, "ask David Rimanelli." David "understands" these artists, and he's also a potentially useful mediator as his vocabulary includes tons of words with more syllables than dude.

Linda Yablonsky:

I turned to face Martin Eder, Nate Lowman, Barnaby Furnas, Dan Colen, Lorna Simpson, and a table of Brits including Sarah Lucas, grouped there with Dalrymple, Sadie Coles, and Gavin Brown, none of whom seemed very interested in anyone who wasn't British. Didn't matter. Over dinner, I got to hear Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn try to stir up Lorna Simpson and Thelma Golden over the Annie Leibovitz "Wizard of Oz" shoot in Vogue. "I'd really like to have heard the conversation that convinced Jasper Johns to be the Cowardly Lion," she said. What about Kara Walker as Glinda? "I don't think I would have done it," Simpson said, leaving the door open a crack.

Force had a white fur wrap thrown over her glittery Dolce & Gabbana dress, and may have been the only person clothed appropriately for the suddenly chilly weather. I spent part of the post-dinner conversation huddled around a heat lamp with Amanda Sharp, listening to her compare Art Basel Miami Beach to her own co-creation, the Frieze Art Fair. Not surprisingly, she liked Frieze better. "I think the character of these things depends entirely on their context," she said. Did she mean Miami was too tawdry for art? "You answered your own question," came the reply.

Then it was back to the same old same old: go upstairs to the Penthouse party that hotelier André Balazs and Nadine Johnson were giving for Bruce Weber and Sofia Coppola? Or retire so I could get to the breakfast at Dennis Scholl's art-crammed Dilido Island home before the Debra Singer-led tour of it ended and the Art Basel Conversations "Philanthropy" panel began? There, a thoroughly media-trained Rockefeller, Broad, Cisneros, and Rachofsky had to respond to moderator Richard Flood's observation that "You can live well and still afford to give."

The standing-room-only crowd hung on every ho-hum word, the only surprise arriving with the realization that the first person to walk out was none other than Alain Robbe-Grillet. (Who even knew the salt-and-pepper-bearded nouvelle vague author was still with us?) Apparently he had come to town to speak at the Rauschenberg tribute the night before. Perhaps he knew in advance that the patrons-to-be would queue up to have the star "venture philanthropist" panelists autograph their programs and wanted to beat the front of the line—unless he too had to race back downtown for the opening of Ella Cisneros's new art space, CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation).

Michael Wang

I beat the mass exodus from the beach and dashed to the new, hyper-chic Setai Hotel, where Taschen was hosting a launch party for David LaChapelle's book Artists and Prostitutes. Caught in the inevitable crush at the door, I ran up against a burly bouncer growling at a pushy, black-leather-Yankees-cap-and-gold-chain-wearing youth to "stay back." "I'm David's personal assistant," the would-be entrant piped, "and if I'm going to leave I will be escorted off. I need to get in right now to deal with the slide show." I slipped through along with Isaac Julien, his boyfriend Mark Nash, his onscreen star Vanessa Myrie, and his assistant Kelly. Inside, we immediately spotted LaChapelle's muse, robosexual tranny Amanda Lepore, who was perched—nude of course—inside an illuminated plexiglass structure in the middle of the pool and leafing through a copy of LaChapelle's vapid tome. (Even Lepore couldn't be bothered to look through the volume, replete with her own image—she tossed her hair, crossed and uncrossed her legs that "cost as much as a house," and cast absent Botox stares at the guests.) Grinning, Julien appraised the spectacle: "Perfect."

New York photographer/drag queen/nightlife personality Greg "G-Spot" Siebel was at the poolside turntables, spinning pop hits—from "Genius of Love" to "Slim Shady"—to the delight of revelers dancing atop the bouncy outdoor cushions. Clearly the king of his own party, LaChapelle stripped down to his undershorts and leapt into the pool, splaying himself Severin-style before Lepore's transparent cage and eliciting coy admonishments from his delighted gaggle of twinky admirers ("Daaaaavid!") before luring the lemmings in after him. Beaming and attentive, LaChapelle's female PR attachés swooped in, emitting cute noises usually reserved for especially endearing infants and promising extra sets of towels, while the wait staff lowered platters of hors d'oeuvres to within the reach of wet fingers.

And those were just from three of the last four posts.

So, while it was a valiant effort, Tyler, these folks are teh pro.

"You really can't parody the gawkers at Scene and Herd..."
Posted by Dan at 11:01 AM

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Referenced in this post:

Modern Art Notes: Breaking through into GawkerForum!!
Scene and Herd: Cabana Fever—Linda Yablonsky
Scene and Herd: Crowd City—Michael Wang
Scene and Herd: Planet Mirth—Trân Dúc Vân