|More than 1,000 guests, setting an attendance record, gathered on Saturday night at The Watermill Center’s 23rd Annual Summer Benefit and Auction making it an extraordinarily successful evening during which more than $2 million was raised for the Center’s year-round Artist Residency and Education Programs.
Conceived by avant-garde theater and visual artist Robert Wilson and entitled FADA: House of Madness, this year’s gala, honoring Madame Giancarla Berti in recognition of her support, featured installations and performances created by 130 artists hailing from 28 countries. The works were spread throughout the property’s eight-and-a-half acre grounds. Highlights included the Russian feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot's Make America Great Again, an installation piece inspired by Donald Trump’s campaign slogan and John Margarita’s One Ton Tank, a water-filled concrete container featuring a young man wearing a black speedo held down by weights.
|Guests included Tory Burch, Bob Colacello, Eric Firestone, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Amanda Hearst, Kathy and Richard Hilton, Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia and Jill Stuart, among many others. The live auction, hosted by veteran auctioneer Simon de Pury, included artworks donated by Robert Wilson, Peter Lindbergh, Francesco Clemente and Nan Goldin. A trip to South Africa featuring an exclusive art experience and a luxury safari also numbered among the live auction items. The silent auction included over 125 lots donated by artists such as Annie Leibovitz, Michael Dweck, and Humberto & Fernando Campana. Dinner guests enjoyed a performance by Norwegian artist Tori Wrånes and an impromptu, surprise performance by Ja Rule.|
|Founded in 1992 by Robert Wilson on the site of a former Western Union facility near Southampton, The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary art space which supports young and emerging artists through its year-round Artist Residency Program, International Summer Program (which has gathered more than 80 artists from 30 countries this year) and education seminars. The Center also presents exhibitions, public programing, and offers tours of its 20,000-square-foot building, eight-and-a-half acres of grounds and sculpture gardens throughout the year. This summer, the Center broke ground for a new 10,000 sq. ft. residency facility by architect Roger Ferris. — Delia von Neuschatz|
|Several of the performance and installation works on display:|
|Scenes from As We Lay Dying, a variety of works and performances by the artist collective, Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQF), scattered throughout the Watermill Center’s grounds:|
|Several of the live and silent auction items:|
|Photographs by BFA|