On The Avenue

A Very Artsy Text on the Beach

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Larry and Toby Milstein have covered all sorts of events in their time at AVENUE. In this week’s Text on the Beach, the darling duo take on the art world out East..

Friday, 6:30 PM

I’d say the theme for this weekend is arts and the outdoors

Yes, lots of fun things to check out. Running a bit behind, you should head to the “About Face” exhibition opening at the Southampton Arts Center without me

You’re not coming with me anymore?? Talk about an about face

No, I’m so sad, you have no idea. I was really looking forward to this. But stuck in so much traffic. Let me know how it is!

Just entered the Arts Center building and the inside is completely different from the brick classical facade—white and modern with ambitious art on every wall

What are some of the works included in the exhibition?

It’s a real motley crew of artists—but in a good way. The Laurie Simmons “About Face” paintings are the centerpiece, but you also have Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cindy Sherman mixed alongside recent MFA graduates

Wow, I wonder what the thought process was behind the exhibition?

Just spoke with the curator David Kratz, who told me many of the works are on loan from private collections and are on public display for the first time. He wouldn’t spill though when I asked which piece was his favorite…

Scott Avett, Simone Levinson and David Kratz

So diplomatic. Which one is yours?

There’s a massive portrait of three “millennials” sitting on a couch and looking at their phones—it’s the size of a war painting, but the topic is a bit more personal. I also loved this portrait of Leonardo DiCaprio by digital artist Yung Jake made completely out of emojis lol

Sounds like the event was very “Text on the Beach.” Besides the art, how were the people on display?

Lots of people from the Hamptons art community. Philanthropist Simone Levinson was chatting with Tripoli Patterson of Tripoli Gallery, who was rocking a funky blazer and t-shirt. Fern Mallis was decked out in a muumuu with a silkscreen of Marlene Dietrich’s face. Even Brooke Shields made a cameo

David Levinson, Simone Levinson, Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy

Fern Mallis and Bibhu Mohapatra

Tripoli Patterson

Are you going to stay for the private dinner? Supposedly going to be very intimate and special

I wish, but now need to head over to our next event in Water Mill—the Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Hamptons Gala Kickoff

Cool, where is the event being held?

Arriving now at the home of Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney. The approach to the home feels very Great Gatsby-esque, with rows of vintage sports cars and convertibles parked on the grassy lawn adjacent to the house

Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney

Sounds amazing. Who’s there?

Well, it looks like Brooke Shields is following my lead, since she’s at this event, too. But most of the attention seems to be focused on the former Countess Luann de Lesseps and her new husband, Tom D’Agostino, given all the recent brouhaha surrounding their relationship

Brooke Shields and Yasmin Aga Khan

Tom D’Agostino Jr. and Luann de Lesseps

Any juicy tidbits to share?

I overheard someone asking her if they can still call her a countess and she was very intent on telling them, “I’m a D’Agostino now”

Wow. Other notable attendees?

Nicole Miller, famed dress designer is chatting with the hostess on a chaise lounge, and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, whose mother Rita Hayworth died from Alzheimer’s, is looking royal in a watercolor floral dress

Ted Farris and Nicole Miller

Sounds like a full house. And I love and admire how committed she is to fighting for her mother’s cause

Yes, and now the sun is setting over the expansive backyard. Such a perfect insta-opp, going to grab a quick pic and then call it a night

Sounds good, let’s text tomorrow—we need to rest up for the Watermill Center event

Saturday, 6:30 PM

This line to enter the Watermill Center event can’t be possible…

This is worse than the line outside Supreme or Apple when they launch a new iPhone—it’s wrapping around the entire street

I’ve never seen so many women in heels (and even some men!) wait to enter a gala that they’ve already paid hundreds of dollars to attend

Well, I’m sure the wait will be worth it—it’s going to be a really powerful night. Not sure if you read the invite, but this year’s benefit is a tribute to the late Lou Reed, honoring his wife, Laurie Anderson, as well as Isabelle Huppert

Laurie Anderson and Isabelle Huppert

Speaking of taking a Walk on the Wild Side, some of these outfits are pretty out of this world. Jiajia Fe is wearing a black and white tetris-inspired outfit, while the duo Margot Takian and Tim Salaivat are matching in a look straight out of a Tim Burton movie

JiaJia Fei

The entrance was breathtaking—like walking into an enchanted forest, draped ribbons and flowers, but one that quickly turns into a dystopian landscape. Naked artists are lying facedown on the glass archways as guests walk single-file through an overgrown brush

Yeah…I regret wearing heels. But I guess I wasn’t the only one with poor footwear choices; an on-site guide just offered to walk me and other women across an uneven stone floor. This event is awesome, but not at all stilleto-friendly

If you think the stone entry was rough, wait for the forest. There are entire performances going on inside the Watermill Center forest, curated by Noah Khoshbin and Ivan Cheng

Would love to digest these amazing installations with you. They’re definitely making an interesting commentary on us, the audience, particularly with how they deal with charged issues of race, class and exploitation. And of course, everyone around us is just blindly snapping pictures for social. I’m guilty of it too

Completely agree—it’s almost like the Hamptons elite, as willful spectators to all the violence on display, are part of the performance art itself

Well, that’s the point of performance art, to make you question, interrogate and think carefully about your interactions with the performers. It’s great that there’s an audience here to view and engage meaningfully with the art. Lots of big names, too. Former mayor Rudy Giuliani, Robert Downey Jr. and Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia are all here. Then of course, there’s the fashion set, including Vogue editor Lynn Yaeger, designer Bibhu Mohapatra and Virgil Abloh is DJing

Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr.

Judith Giuliani and Rudy Giuliani

Shaikha Paula Al Sabah and Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia

Just spotted our artist friend Jojo Anavim spraying some graffiti on a wall that guests are encouraged to spray—talk about art in-the-making

I actually love what someone just said to describe this event. He said, tonight is “half amazing, half ridiculous, which is the space I occupy”

I think he’s onto something. Text you later


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ABT kicks off fall season

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All’s Fair at TEFAF Opening

The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering raised funds as a glamorous art fair returned to New York.

by Debbie BancroftPhotographed by Griffin Lipson and Hunter Abrams/BFA.com