Friday, May 4, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

A scene being shot for While Collar, on the corner of 85th Street and Central Park West. 8:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Friday, May 4, 2012. Mild and overcast, in the 50s. The biggest Full Moon of the year is due over the weekend. Nicknamed “Supermoon,” it will be closer than usual to the Earth on Saturday if the sky is clear. The moon’s proximity will exert 42% more tidal force, and the moon will be 16% brighter. It has notable astrological significance better explained by someone who knows about those things.

This was a very active week in New York
from Monday on. As active as my calendar seems (even to me), it’s just a slice of social life in the city. There were many events I missed, many I wasn’t aware of, as well as all those commercial/social events – store openings, art openings, etc. – all of which are enthusiastically attended by New Yorkers who like New York for just that: places to go, people to meet. It’s the main business of New York. The Live Model for Facebook. 
Aside from everything else, Art is the name of the game in New York right now. Yesterday was the opening of Frieze Art Fair New York on Randall’s Island. This was a major art world event, and people came from all over for it. The night before last over at Sotheby’s, Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” sold for almost $120 million, the highest price ever paid for a painting.

On Wednesday, the second edition of the Art and Antiques Dealers League of America’s SpringShowNYC opened at the Park Avenue Armory (running through Sunday).

The evening was sponsored by 1stdibs, to benefit the ASPCA. 63 top-tier dealers were showing an incredible array of art and antiques from antiquities through the 20th century. Honorary co-chairs were: Amy Fine Collins, Somers and Jonathan Farkas, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and Hilary Geary Ross and Wilbur Ross. Co-chairs of the Connoisseurs Committee were:  Michael Bruno, Mario Buatta, Robert Couturier, Celerie Kemble, Edward Lobrano, Brian McCarthy, Miles Redd, Ellen and Chuck Scarborough, Michael Smith, Bunny Williams, Vicente Wolf, and this writer.
Amy Fine Collins. Robert Couturier and Cristina Hadzi.
Guests of honor were the irresistible ASPCA rescue dogs who greeted everyone making their way into the exhibition hall.  Among those stopping to shake their paws, were all of the above, and Ellie Cullman, Audrey Gruss, Jean Shafiroff, Alex Papachristidis and Scott Nelson, Georgina Schaeffer, Bill Donovan and Ken Nitzle, Diane Fisher, Darren Henault,  Mitchell Kline, Frederick Anderson, Ted and Betsy Glazer, Linda Arnone,  Robert Stilin, Evan Boorstyn, Laura and Jim Freeman,  Allison Hennessy, Christina Murphy, Ann Maine, Ron Wagner and Timothy Van Dam, Carlos and Missy Falchi, Marjorie Reed Gordon, Mark Gilbertson, Barbara Regna, Barbara and Donald Tober, Nazee and Joe Moinian, Linda and Benjamin V. Lambert, Duane Hampton, Lynn and Noel Jeffrey, Steven Gambrel, Ann Maine, Cathy Whitlock, Doris Athineos, Geoffrey Bradfield, Roric Tobin, Hermes Mallea, Carey Maloney, Bunny Williams and John Roselli, Ronald Brick, Bruce Budd, Arie and Coco Kopelman, Larry Kaiser, Michel Witmer, Gail and Dennis Karr, Mark Lyman, Michael Franks, Benjamin Bradley, John Robshaw, Todd Black, Bruce Bierman, Harry Heissmann, Stacy McLaughlin, and Wendy Moonan
Ellie Cullman, Bob Israel, Melanie Friedman, and Katie Williamson.
Bennett Weinstock, Mario Buatta, and Bruce Bierman.
Bunny Williams and John Rosselli.
Jonathan Farkas, Somers Farkas, and Linda Arnone.
Steven Gambrell and Barbara Ryd. Hillary Geary Ross and Wilbur Ross.
Jake Dwyer, John Robshaw, and Todd Black.
Carlton Hobbs.
Nicholas Grindley.
Dalva Brothers.
Yew Tree Antiques.
William Siegel Gallery.
Hyde Park Antiques.
While last night at the Leila Heller Gallery on 568 West 25th Street was the opening of Rachel Lee Hovanian’s new exhibition “Mud Pie.”

Rachel and I have known each other for a number of years now. She’s a very likeable. And very intense too, despite that sunny smile. I’ve watched her work progress and grow over time, and I’ve watched her own life move along, accompanied by this quest to paint, to make art -- whatever the adequate term for it is these days.

I’m hardly an art critic but rather an unbiased observer. Until something catches me. Rachel’s earliest portraits affected me first. That’s when she stood alone in my mind’s eye. This latest exhibition which I have only seen images of, are a far cry from those watercolor days. Far far. But I know the story is in the evolving, and it’s a single thread. Rachel’s now long out into the world with her work. In the meantime The Artist Works, and so she does. I commend and congratulate her on her inner momentum.
In the installation, Dinner For Two, 2012, Hovnanian tackles the illusion of elegant dining and the romantic intimacy of a couple. Her long elegant dining table is set with silver flatware and grand flowers that need dusting (and it seems, so does the relationship). At either end of the table, the apparent husband and wife are absent figures replaced with LCD panels affixed to chairs like prosthetics where their heads should be. Each screen presents a three-minute video loop. Hyper-abundant Floral Arrangements, 2012, are memorialized through photographs.

Notes Hovnanian, "We've forgotten what is real. Fast food chains replaced cafes; children think a package of pink powder mixed with water is real lemonade made with freshly squeezed pink lemons. We think we have 1,000 real friends on Facebook. We are sucked into our screens and can't find the time to separate from technology. Only when the power is down, or if we are visiting a remote place with no wireless, can we take a break."
Earlier in the week – on Tuesday morning down at the British Garden at Hanover Square, the Very Reverend Dr. John Hall, Dean of Westminster Abbey, kicked off the U.S. Celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee with the re-naming of the Garden to “The Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden.”
Luke Parker Bowles and The Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr. John Hall. Australian Consul General Phil Scanlan and his wife, Julie.
Also on Tuesday, The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (SMSKCC) gathered at Sotheby’s to give thanks to its members and generous donors who helped fund the organization’s Annual Appeal to fund Prostate Cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Guests gathered in the Impressionist and Modern Art Exhibit, giving them a private preview of Munch’s The Scream the day of its record sale. This year’s Annual Appeal was chaired by Leslie Heaney, with David Koch, Suzie Kovner and Joyce Moss, as Vice Chairmen, and Kate Allen and Claudia Overstrom as Associates Co-Chairmen.  

Guest included: Dr. Annette Rickel, Dr. Howard Scher, Dr. Peter Scardino, Leslie Heaney, David H. Koch, Suzie Kovner, Joyce Moss, Jamie Niven, Tom Ott, Claudia Overstrom, Kate Allen, Michael and Eleanora Kennedy, Lisa McCarthy, Libby Fitzgerald, Eugenie Niven, Daisy Soros, June Dyson, Alexandra Lind Rose, Maria Villalba.
Chairman, Sotheby's America, Jamie Niven, Vice Chairman, Dr. Howard Scher, Chairman, Leslie Heaney, Dr. Peter Scardino, Pres. of the SMSKCC, Dr. Annette Rickel and Vice Chairman, and David H. Koch.
Andrew Heaney and Eugenie Niven. Charles Mott and Ann Mott.
Joyce Moss, Claudia Overstrom, Leslie Heaney, Susie Kovner, and Kate Allen.
Raul Suarez and Daisy Soros Heather Leads and Michel Witmer.
Terry Fitzgerald, Libby Fitzgerald, and Peter Jones.
Tiffany Dubin and Ruth Fleischmann. Jordan and Marcie Pantzer.
Anki Leeds, Martha Webster, and Caroline Ballantine.
Dr. Annette Rickel and Tom Ott. Bettina and Edward Mirsepahi.
At the beginning of the week at Julliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater on Monday night at 7, the Juilliard School honored its longtime trustee and patron of the arts, as well as former Chair of the Juilliard Board, Mary Rodgers Guettel, at a gala black tie evening.

She has had a unique career, impressively varied – composer, lyricist, author, producer, as well as arts patron and her work for Juilliard (which began fifty years ago in 1962).
Mary Rodgers Guettel with Bruce and Suzie Kovner
Mary RG is Broadway royalty, daughter of a great Broadway composer, she grew up in the magical world of the theatre, and took the mantle for her own as she came of age. She’s been bred on all of it and the result is an extremely charming and interesting woman, with her still gamine-ish personality and a sunny disposish she must have been born with. So although I wasn’t present on Monday night, I know the room was full of warmth for the lady on her night.

The evening began with performances by Jamie Bernstein, Boyd Gaines, Helen Hunt, Laura Linney, Donna Murphy, Faith Prince, and Mary Louise Wilson, led by music director, pianist Eric Stern and associate music director Lee Musiker, and directed by Stephen Wadsworth. There were also performances by Juilliard’s actors, dancers, and musicians and the Juilliard Orchestra.
Juilliard dancers who performed in the Tribute
After the performances there was the dinner in the tent in Walter Damrosch Park next to the Metropolitan Opera House. Peter Duchin and his Orchestra kept the music in the lady’s evening. Chairs for the evening were trustee Kitty Patterson and Tom Kempner Jr., Beth Kojima and trustee Christopher Kojima. Co-chairs were Ida Cole, composer Adam Guettel, the honoree’s son; Alec and Christy Guettel, and Roger Horchow. Honorary Chairs included: Alan and Arlene Alda, Barbara Cook, John Kander and Albert Stephenson, Laura Linney and Marc Schauer, Patti LuPone, Sarah Jessica Parker, Hal and Judy Prince, and Stephen Sondheim.

Proceeds from the evening help support Juilliard’s student scholarships. 90% of the school’s actors, dancers and musicians need financial assistance to attend. The evening raised $1.8 million.
Judi Flom and Graham Parker
Mary Rodgers Guettel with her granddaughter.
Kim Beaty, and Sarah Ream
Suzie and Bruce Covner, Elizabeth Polisi, Claudio Carnali, and wife Julie Choi
Joseph Polisi, Elbrun Kimmelman, Elizabeth Polisi, and Peter Kimmelman
Suzie Kovner, Bruce Kovner, Kevin Rollins, Katherine Kovner, Debra Rollins, and Jim Houghton
Mary Rodgers Guettel and Helen Hunt
Peter Duchin, Mary Rodgers Guettel, Lee Musiker, and Eric Stern
Faith Prince and Stephen Sondheim
Mary Rodgers and William Ivey Long
Stephen Wadsworth, Francesca Faridany, and Dr. Joseph Polisi

Photographs by (Spring Show); Sylvain Gaboury/ (SMSKCC);
Nan Melville (Mary Rodgers).

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