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Last night, art and literary magazine BOMB celebrated its 31st anniversary with a gala celebration and silent auction. Marina Abramovich chatted with Michael Stipe and Agnes Gund and Cindy Sherman gave hellos around the room as other art world luminaries mingled throughout the space. Art hung on the walls and sculptures–a piece of cheese, a plastic container turned upside down and fitted to look like a makeshift lamp—sat on tables as guests spent the two hour cocktail portion of the night bidding on work before heading into the large hall for a dinner of tuna tartar and lamb.
BOMB’s editor Betsy Sussler gave her opening remarks before welcoming Patti Smith to the stage in a suit and tie to hand out the evenings first award, a pink bomb, to MoMa’s Chief Curator at Large, Klaus Biesenbach. “If you are applauding my glasses, they are from Germany,” she began with a nod to his heritage, before kidding “I actually thought Chief Curator at Large was a private joke but it seems that it actually is something. Not sure what ‘at large’ means but knowing Klaus, it must be somewhat mysterious.”
Biesenbach took the stage keeping Smith near him. “I am superstitious you should never write down a speech,” he said clutching her arm and giving thanks around the room.
Other honorees included Pulitzer prize winning playwright and novelist Masha Norman who was introduced by writer Theresa Rebeck, who wrote the current Broadway hit Seminar and recently worked on the TV show Smash. Hal Foster introduced the award to legendary sculptor Richard Serra. “I found out two days ago I had to say something. I really don’t have anything to tell you about myself,” said Serra. “I find it embarrassing…I don’t see myself the way other people see me and I’d rather not.”
The evening drew to a close and I head home to find this morning when looking at photos from the evening, that I had missed yet another rising artist in the mix. Whether he stopped by at the end or never made it inside, James Franco was snapped on the street outside the event with Biesenbach and Smith. Knowing how prolific the actor/student/filmmaker/author/singer/writer is, keep your eyes peeled for future collaborations.