Brooklyn Artists Ball
April 24, 2013
The Brooklyn Museum held its annual Artist's Ball on Wednesday, April 24th. Honoring curator Barbara Knowles Debs and renowned artists Vik Muniz, Wangechi Mutu, and Roxy Paine, the evening started off with artist interviews and a reception in the Rubin Pavillion. Along with spotless catering and a photobooth, there were also tables where the attendees could have their fingernails painted, with many of the designs centered around the featured artists' works.
After the reception, dinner was held in the majestic Beaux-Arts Court. This 10,000 square foot space was astounding, and the featured artists were given the task of creating centerpieces for an assigned table, and they definitely did not disappoint. Joey Frank's table captivated my imagination the most, with a severed thumb running on an elliptical track through a sequence of oversized playing cards. Fernando Mastrangelo, known for his use of non-traditional materials, created statues of the Virgin Mary from sprinkles, birdseed, and other items. His inclusion seemed fitting for an event honoring Vik Muniz, possibly the artist most associated with utilizing food as a medium. Jacob Hashimoto employed his Japanese-influenced rice paper sculptures, growing high overhead the seated dinner guests. Other artists to create tables were Njideka Akunyili, Emily Noelle Lambert, Lan Tuazon, Max Toth, José Parlá, Daniel Arsham, FAILE, Alison E. Taylor, Analia Segal, Steven and William Ladd, Navin June Norling, Jules de Balincourt, Man Bartlett, and Luis Gispert.
Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw's spectacle stole the show, however. Atop a large metal frame was a weather balloon covered in hair. A man played the cello, and the artists were pulled along a track wearing oversized papier-mâché renditions of their own heads. Both wearing white and gold from head to toe, Outlaw showed me his new gold caps and his amazing Gucci aviator frames. Their mood was incredibly enthusiastic and friendly, and they were the perfect embodiment of the event, a lighthearted and playful approach to art.
The after-party was an extension of this mood, with DJ sets by Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor and the duo Andrew Andrew. I had never envisioned listening to a model spin Rick Ross in an art museum, yet the mood was still cohesive, and no aspect of the night seemed out of place.