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Chanel Manicures, Bondage Ballet, and Emily Ratajkowski: Inside the Art Production Fund’s 2020 Gala

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Chanel Manicures, Bondage Ballet, and Emily Ratajkowski: Inside the Art Production Fund’s 2020 Gala

In times of uncertainty, often the best antidote is an escape from reality. It may be as simple as shutting off the news or as cheerful as a night out with friends. On a warm March night in New York City, the Art Production Fund delivered a much-needed intermission to celebrate the organization’s public artwork and programming, honoring couple Sarah Hoover and Tom Sachs.

The Art Production Fund 2020 gala exuded opulence and artful decadence with playful twists, starting with the venue. The Art Production Fun transformed The Grill and The Pool into full immersive art experiences, with music by Leigh Lezark of The Misshapes. Cocktail hour wasn’t simply passed drinks and canapés (though both were bountiful). As guests streamed into The Grill, they were met with Chanel Beauté x Tom Sachs manicure stations, a Tom Sachs custom ID station, and a Tom Sachs Space Program Indoctrination & Re-Education Center installation. It certainly yielded the most well-manicured crowd of any event in recent recollection.

The gala’s dress code was “black-tie hole,” interpreted liberally and creatively. Some arrived in black Chanel ensembles, including Art Production Fund executive director Casey Fremont, co-founder Yvonne Force Villareal, and honoree Sarah Hoover. Others opted for a more colorful interpretation, such as Stacey Bendet’s pink-feathered troops, including Nicky Hilton Rothschild and Huma Abedin. At the end of cocktail hour, as guests took their final cherry jello shots with their newly applied Chanel Beauté manicures, a bondage-inspired ballet performance by Mika Tajima and ballerina Alexandra Jacob (who wore a head-to-toe latex bodysuit) captivated the audience.

Next, attendees like Jenna Lyons, Cynthia Rowley, Amy Astley, Indre Rockefeller, Athena Calderone, and Derek Blasberg migrated down the hall to The Pool. A vision of true decadence, tablescapes forwent flower arrangements in favor of large bowls of Ruinart Champagne bottles and Regalis Foods caviar on ice (perhaps an homage to the famed former Four Seasons restaurant formerly located in the Mies van der Rohe building). In another instance of the unlikely, the Champagne and caviar were consumed with cheeseburgers and tater tots, a meal curated by Hoover herself. Other special touches to the night’s ambiance included Ed Ruscha custom napkins, a ball pit featuring the Art Production Fund logo drawn by Sachs, an animated art auction, and a Beyoncé soundtrack (clearly another Hoover influence). Spotted among the familiar faces at dinner were Ezra J. William, Neil and Rachel Blumenthal, Wes Gordon and Paul Arnhold, David Chang, Tyler Mitchell, and Isolde Brielmaier.

Funds raised at the Art Production Fund’s 10th annual gala went straight to the organization’s public art commissions. Instantly recognizable are projects like Elmgreen & Dragset’s Prada Marfa, Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains, and last year’s riveting Lucy Sparrow installation titled “Lucy’s Delicatessen at Rockefeller Center.” Upcoming 2020 projects include works by Nancy Baker Cahill and Sanford Biggers.

The organization chose to honor Hoover and Sachs because of their unequivocal impact on the art world. Emily Ratajkowski, dressed in a black body-chain jumpsuit, toasted to Hoover and her work in the art community. Ratajkowski’s heartfelt and comical introduction recounted how the two met at a dinner in Los Angeles, after which Ratajkowski proceeded to spend hours analyzing Hoover’s Instagram. Hoover delivered a speech professing her admiration for Art Production Fund’s work. “I absolutely love Art Production Fund because it creates beautiful and meaningful art installations that belong to everyone. I firmly believe that all of us here at the top of the art world food chain have an ethical imperative to provide art to people who didn’t study it in college and maybe don’t go to museums and don’t have the opportunities.” Following Hoover’s speech, Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak introduced Sachs, who in turn delivered a speech praising Art Production Fund’s mission of bringing high-quality art to everyone.

As if the occasion wasn’t momentous enough, executive director Casey Fremont decreed to the audience: “We are really happy to announce that the mayor has proclaimed today in New York City Art Production Fund Day.” Included in each guest’s program was a small copy of the proclamation signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.


Source: Vogue.com