[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n Tuesday evening, I stopped by the opening of a photography show by the Safdie Brothers at Fort Gansevoort, a trendy new art-gallery-slash-BBQ-joint in the heart of the Meatpacking District. The wood paneled, three-story former house also boasts an outdoor patio that’s perfect for swilling keg beer, smoking cigarettes, and indulging in one (or two) of the incredible sliders crafted by a rotation of “BBQ resident” (most of whom happen to be jaw-droppingly handsome, it’s worth noting).
(Cat Marnell, photo: BFA)
Upon entering, I spotted New York’s most badass former beauty editor (and one of my personal idols), Cat Marnell sitting by the bar chatting intensely with a friend. Despite her well-documented hard-partying ways, she looked perfectly fresh in a slinky, floor-length white gown paired with skin that seemed to radiate. I’ll have whatever she’s having.
Wednesday night saw me trying in vain to cover the entire East Side of the city, starting out at a cocktail party for the Museum of Art and Design at a posh private residence on the Upper East Side. Despite being a staunch Brooklynite, I harbor a secret fascination with the rarefied world of the UES. I paired Chanel ballet flats (purchased secondhand on Poshmark) with ripped black skinny jeans and a silk camisole by Nili Lotan for a look that I hoped would take me effortlessly from uptown to downtown, but instead I found myself woefully out of place in a sea of stuffy cocktail dresses.
(Iris Apfel, photo: Instagram@karen_walker)
It was all worth it, however, to get a glimpse of guest of honor Iris Apfel, who I’m happy to report is every ounce as glamorous in person as she appears in pictures. In addition to her ubiquitous statement glasses and red lipstick, she was rocking a cinnamon-colored Mongolian lamb fur bag (which she appears to own in several colors) that I was in complete awe of given my predilection for anything and everything fluffy.
After making my escape from socialite central, I made my way to Venus Over Manhattan, an uptown gallery where Katherine Bernhardt was showing a series of kitschy, colorful paintings inspired by her travels to Puerto Rico. While entering the building, which also houses one of New York’s many Gagosian galleries, I found myself face-to-face in the revolving door with none other than Larry Gagosian, who seemed amused by my unabashed, wide-eyed leering.
The artist was dressed in a printed mini dress and neon orange low-top Converse, which proved a perfect compliment to her brightly-hued canvases. After a few hellos and a Tecate, I was Lower East Side bound.
As much as I love hobnobbing with New York’s elite, I blend in much better downtown, where my chronically messy hair and rarely polished nails are perceived as being part of a look rather than the result of epic laziness and lack of cashflow. I stopped by to visit my friends at their gallery Garis & Hahn, which after just a couple of years in the business is emerging as a go-to spot for of-the-moment artists.
(Model Emily Ratajkowski in front of a Katherine Bernhardt painting, photo: Instagram@emrata)
Bordering on exhaustion and with aching feet despite my relatively sensible footwear, my last stop was the Lodge Gallery, which boasts a speakeasy in the back where one of the very cute owners had me pose for a GoPro picture wearing his straw cowboy hat. Why did he have a straw cowboy hat? That I cannot answer.
Feeling a bit worse for the wear after last night’s exploits, I sucked down an iced coffee and headed to Chelsea after work on Thursday, prepared for packed galleries, flurries of air kisses, and of course, some of the most exciting shows of the season. Thanks to persistent rain, the streets were soaked and a sea of umbrellas clogged the sidewalks.
After getting a late start, I realized I only had about an hour and a half to see an afternoon’s worth of art. I somehow made it all the way from 26th Street to 18th, with the highlights being Dana Schutz’s skillfull, cheeky paintings at Petzel, a massive recreation of a Roy Lichtenstein mural at Gagosian, Keltie Ferris’s explosive canvases at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, and an epic show of Mike Kelley’s “Kandors” series at Hauser & Wirth, where I’m pretty sure I spotted Leonardo DiCaprio lurking under his requisite newsboy cap.
The rain was pouring, my flowy Reformation dress was soaked, and my feet were killing me in my heeled boots. But I pressed on, resolving to stop by the Sean Kelly afterparty, which I soon learned was an excellent choice. The party took place at a secret penthouse apartment operated by Absolut Elyx. It was beautiful, smelled like cinnamon, and had a disco ball. What’s more, one of the specialty cocktails came inside a giant copper pineapple.
Patrick McMullan, New York’s premiere party photog, was there with his camera in hand. When my answer to his question of “who’s your boyfriend these days?” was unsatisfactory to him, he whisked me across the room to meet a cluster of eligible bachelors. Meanwhile, a former colleague was set on pairing me with a restaurant owner who, after a barrage of questions from her, was revealed to be close to his mother. I left the party alone that night, but certainly not for lack of effort on the part of my friends.
(Art Rio, photo: Instagram@luizaabsobral)
Meanwhile, while I’ve been rushing around in the rain, my Instagram feed has been packed with heartbreakingly gorgeous pictures from ArtRio, the Brazilian art fair that’s helping to turn the country into an up-and-coming international art hub. Highlights from this year’s iteration include the booth of glamorous Parisian gallerist Agnes Monplaisir, who is offering works by Olga de Amaral and Todd & Fitch.
Another, more intrepid set of friends embarked earlier this week on a trip to Detroit, where underground art, bootstrapped community projects, and “ruin porn” abound. It’s grittier than a night in Chelsea to be sure, but we hear Detroit is the new Brooklyn.
By Cait Munro