Monday, July 27, 2015

A Touch of Nature's Art

Looking out over the harbor and Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard, Friday afternoon at 3 PM. Photo: DPC.
Monday, July 27, 2015. A beautiful weekend and past four days in New York and the Northeast. Temperatures rose yesterday along with the level of humidity but the weather was kinder than the forecast.

On Thursday I went up to Martha’s Vineyard to visit an old friend, flying JetBlue to Edgartown. The weather up there was perfect; didn’t feel any humidity, and by sunset it was just a sweater side of getting chilly. I get out of town so infrequently, and especially to real countryside environments, that I was surprised at the silence of the night out where Mother Nature continues to call the shots on comfort for us humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.
Another view from the same vantage point, looking to the north where the harbor opens up.
This was my first trip to Martha’s Vineyard since I was a kid just out of college and had a girlfriend whose family summered in West Chop. In those days, we’d take the ferry from Woods Hole on the Cape, across to Vineyard Haven. It was about a forty minute ride across to the island. Now, being a long time New Yorker, Woods Hole is, of course, a five or more hour drive from Manhattan. The trip from JFK, once aloft, is about 35 minutes.

I’m not an enthusiastic traveler at this time in my life and as readers know I prefer the quiet of Manhattan on weekends, especially in the summertime in my neighborhood where many people leave the city: it is quiet. Yes! However, I made this trip so as to take the opportunity to see someone I cared for and whom I hadn’t seen in many many years. It is an unusual opportunity in life to re-connect with another whom you last saw a lifetime ago.
All seen from the terrace.
It turned out to be a good idea. Both of us had a lot to talk about and look back over the past decades that had passed in our lives. However, aside from that pleasure, it was great to be in the country, near the ocean, by the ocean. The views from the terrace look west to the Edgartown Harbor. It was here on the terrace looking out at this quiet and tranquil vista, where much of our conversation took place all through the day and well into the evening.

And then at nightfall when it was bedtime, in my room, lights out, it was silent. No sounds of civilization, not even the jets or helicopters landing (that you get in the Hamptons at all hours). Just silence. Not one sound – and that was with the windows open at nighttime. Heavenly.
A touch of nature's art in Martha’s Vineyard.
Meanwhile, this past Saturday, July 25th, out east in Water Mill, The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation hosted their 22nd Annual Summer Benefit and Auction at the Watermill Center. The theme was Circus of Stillness ... The Power Over Wild Beasts.  This is Robert Wilson’s creation. Mr. Wilson, if you didn’t know, is an artist as director, composer, writer, impresario of Arts Culture. He is a genius in that there is no one I can think of whom he can be compared to. He also has a great devoted following. This is not an accident as Mr. Wilson is laser focus on actualizing his visions.

Robert Wilson.
The result is a show, a party, a coming together, a “happening,” and a society charity gala. They raised more than $1.9 million to support The Center’s year-round Residency Program, International Summer Program, and educational initiatives that provide artists with a unique opportunity to develop their work.  Robert Wilson hosted the evening, as he always does.

More than 1,200 from the worlds of art, performance, theater, fashion, design, and society came together for the visually stunning event which honored Inga Maren Otto, international philanthropist and long-time supporter of The Watermill Center. The evening featured rousing performances by Sierra “Rosie” Casady of CocoRosie, a collaborative installation by forthcoming resident artists Cirkus Cirkör, a cloud sculpture by celebrated artist Daniel Arsham, and over two dozen site-specific installations by artists participating in the 2015 International Summer Program featured alongside the works of renowned visual artists, Cleon Peterson, Basco Vazko, Gary Garay, and Radamés ‘Juni’ Figueroa, among others. 

Additional highlights included the silent and live auctions hosted by irrepressible, veteran auctioneer Simon de Pury. The auction featured more than 125 lots donated by world-renowned and emerging artists, such as: Marina Abramović, Uta Barth, Annie Leibovitz, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. 
The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation.
Among the guests at Saturday night’s event were: artist Daniel Arsham, Bob Colacello, Christophe de Menil, Diana DiMenna, Bill T. Jones and Bjorn G. Amelan of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company; designer, fashion pioneer, Fern Mallis; Nicole Miller; Brooke Shields; Public School designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne; curator Anastasiya Siro; philanthropist Barbara Slifka; performer Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot; designer John Varvatos; singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright; and Roger Waters.    

It was a great looking crowd, and later on this week on the NYSD, we’ll show you a few hundred of the guests who dress for the occasion at Mr. Wilson’s benefit. One of the great evenings of the Hamptons summertime.
Rufus Wainwright. Nelly Moudime and Natalie Holst.
Nathan Bernstein and Katharina Otto-Bernstein.
Inga Maren Otto and Robert Wilson.
Patty Hearst and Anne Hearst McInerney.
Last Thursday here in New York, while I was up at Martha’s Vineyard, down on 525 West 26th Street at the Salomon Contemporary, there was a reception to launch an exhibition of “Pictures from the Patrick McMullan Collection.”  Patrick, who is a friend and frequent contributor to the NYSD as well as several major publications, is a veteran photojournalist of the New York world beginning with Andy Warhol in the the 1980s when his work was featured in Interview. 

His work is vast. One gallery exhibition could not hold the half of it. The Salomon has chosen a vast example of the man’s most prolific work. You should make a point of getting down to see what you experienced, might have heard of, always wondered about or will discover for the first time, the wonders of New York life as seen through the lens of this tireless photographer who became as much of the scene as he was recording with his camera.  The exhibition runs through this coming Friday, the 31st. Don’t miss it; it will open your eyes and your memories as well as your imagination.
Patrick with Dylan Hundley and Hannah Moorhead.
With Henny Garfunkel and Michael Musto.
With Hala Salomon and Sharon Bush.
With Paul Austinand Niamh Mitchell.
This past Saturday night, my birthday, I had dinner with several old friends at Swifty’s. JH and his wife Danielle were there, and he got a shot of the birthday boy being presented with Swifty’s famous vanilla cake which has an icing/frosting that is three inches thick and as light and sweet as cotton candy. The cake itself is really just there whole hold the icing. Irresistable. It was a great evening for a birthday party.
The birthday boy takes the cake after the serenade by the guests.
Make a wish! (I did.)
Among my birthday greetings came this piece of poetry by Mr. Devonshire, a friend and frequent NYSD reader of Palm Beach. He catches the real life responses to real life's actuarials that never fails to twitch or twinkle the truth about it all:

Holy Shit
He Wont Quit
Reading, Writing
Michael's Sightings
Ambling Round
Manhattan Town
From Zabar's To Swifty's
And Then Sette Mezzo
Doormen And Drivers All Say Hello
Dowagers, Doyennes, The In Betweens
All Are Preening To Be Seen
Hope The Doggies
Lit Some Candles
On That Cake
You Can Handle
Birthdays Come And Birthdays Go
Fuck Old Age, Just Say No!