Art Out: Aperture Foundation 2019 Muse Gala
By Ashley Yu
On June 3, the Aperture Foundation gathered together for the 2019 Spring MUSE Gala to celebrate the upcoming “Orlando” issue for the Aperture Magazine and a corresponding exhibition, curated by Tilda Swinton, who made a brief attendance at dinner in the form of video on a projection screen. The gala also came to celebrate the visionaries from the photography community: the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, for advancing the creative vision of the eponymous founder and funding the fight against HIV/AIDS; Mickalene Thomas for her redefinition of normative beauty for women of color through their photographic depiction; and Racquel Chevremont, Thomas’ muse and partner, who launched “Deux Femmes Noir”, a platform to promote artists of color.
The event was hosted in Union West’s sprawling Chelsea location, uniting a crowd of the most talented and diverse attendees from today’s artistic community. Spotted with a simple chic suit and Converses, Mickalene Thomas was there to present her work, both for the live auction and also for her featured pieces in “Orlando.” Inspired by Virginia Woolf's satirical novel of the same name, actress Tilda Swinton, who portrayed the gender-swapping star in Sally Porter’s film adaptation, explains that the upcoming issue of Aperture Magazine “will be a salute to limitless, and a heartfelt celebration of the fully inclusive and expansive vision of life.”
From beloved Millennial sweetheart Tyler Mitchell’s photograph to Thierry Cohen’s mysteriously glistening images of star-spangled skies, the auctions, presented by Christie’s Darius Hines, was a resounding success. Cocktails in hand, many of the prints on sale were donated by Shen Wei, Bill Armstrong, Gail Albert Halaban, and Kathy Ryan, among others. Decked in black-chiffon tiered dresses and silky pink capes, the attendees enjoyed the performances of Honey+Vinyl and the eccentrically blue-eyebrowed DJ Alima Li.
Created in 1952, the non-profit Aperture Foundation continues to provide a platform for groundbreaking talents to celebrate the photographic medium. Over sixty years later, their mission still rings true today. Congratulations to the Aperture Foundation for an amazing event and to all who contributed to the 2019 Muse Gala’s success!