Was the Art Production Fund’s Good & Plenty benefit an over-the-top party, or a knowing parody of one? During cocktails at the Park Avenue Armory, servers offered Gouda lollipops from headpieces shaped like cheese wedges and witty performance artist Ryan McNamara stood frozen in various lounge lizard poses. Whimsical as the end result was, planning the nonprofit’s second fundraising extravaganza was no joke. “It was way more intense than putting together a wedding,” APF co-founder Yvonne Force Villareal said. Tell that to Miss Middleton.
In addition to honoring Estée Lauder’s John Demsey and curator and critic Clarissa Dalrymple, the organization (which has worked with everyone from Proenza Schouler and Aaron Young to Gap) managed to turn some of New York’s most sought-after artists into party planners. Will Cotton collaborated with chef David Burke on the menu, which included sausage skewers plunged into heads of iceberg lettuce; Jeff Koons designed a plate; and the lipstick-smeared napkins on the tables were Dan Colen’s creative idea of what to do with a bunch of MAC products. Elise Overland left with a pile of them, having promised Burke she’d make him an apron.
It’s the height of the season of art bashes in New York, with each benefit trying to upstage the last. “I am thoroughly partied out. I have a sore throat,” John Currin griped. On the upside, he added, “Aimee Mullins looks hot as hell. I was sort of checking her out and I got caught.” (Luckily for Currin, he and his wife, Rachel Feinstein Currin are pals with the statuesque model and former Paralympian.)
As cotton candy and cupcakes were served, Amy Sacco watched a nude performance artist who was seated atop a ladder and littering the floor with notes she’d taken about revelers in her immediate vicinity. Sacco resisted the urge to pick them up and take a peek, but the thought crossed her mind. “Talk about good gossip,” she said.
— Darrell Hartman