“I don’t know who you are talking about,” Mayor Bloomberg deadpanned upon receiving the Stephan Weiss Apple Award from Donna Karan at her Urban Zen Center on Wednesday night. Lucy Liu, Martha Stewart, Kelly Klein, Kelly Bensimon, Lorraine Bracco and Ann Dexter-Jones were among the notables that gathered in the West Village digs to view Karan’s late husband’s first collective exhibit and peruse the newly released “Stephan Weiss: Connecting the Dots, Portrait of a Man,” (www.assouline.com) written by Karan with an afterword by Ingrid Sischy. The space that was formerly Weiss’s artist studio was transformed into a candlelit, quasi-interactive gallery, with images of Weiss on the walls displayed alongside sketches, paintings, and sculptures of bronze, acrylic and Lucite.
“Stephan was my teacher, my love, my artist hand,” Karan said in her remarks, which came about halfway into the festivities. On Mayor Bloomberg: “He embodies all of Urban Zen’s initiatives,” and “when I think of New York, I think of one person only.” She praised his antitobacco initiatives and singled out his support of Wall Street, the theatre industry and the garment industry.
Bloomberg responded in kind: “I may be the mayor of New York City, but you are the queen of Seventh Avenue.” He deemed Karan “the quintessential New Yorker…in your heart and maybe a little in your face sometimes. She rewrote all the rules in the only city where this is truly possible.”
“Stephan was a real artist and thought outside the box,” the Mayor continued. “And that’s what art is all about. Connecting the dots is what Stephan did.”
The Apple Award is a miniature of an oversize Weiss sculpture installed at neighboring Hudson Park. The Connecting the Dots exhibit will be on display until December 31.