On The Avenue

New Yorkers Take Home A Nude

by Kelly Laffey Photographed by Tiffany Sage and Joe Schildhorn/BFA
Friday, October 13, 2017

Few may miss the bygone days of 42nd Street, but New Yorkers can still Take Home a Nude to benefit the New York Academy of Art. The annual art party and auction was held on Wednesday, October 11 at Sotheby’s, raising over $1.1 million for student scholarships and programs at the Academy.

“It’s become one of the biggest art events in the city,” said David Kratz, New York Academy of Art president, and also the show’s curator. “We worked so hard to put this show together, and it represents a lot of the artists who support the school, and what the school stands for.”

This marked the 26th year of the auction, which has grown from a small, student-run exhibition to the event it is today, featuring both a silent auction and live auction with works from both students and such heavy hitters as Peter Beard, Ross Bleckner, Christo, Will Cotton, Patrick Demarchelier, Eric Fischl, Eric Freeman, Damian Loeb, Ryan McGinness, and Kiki Smith; and portrait commissions by Margaret Bowland and Nan Goldin. The event honored painter John Alexander.

“When we started, nothing was framed,” said Eileen Guggenheim, the chair of the Academy’s board of trustees. “And now, master framers donate their frames. All the work is ready to take home and hang.”

Many echoed Guggenheim’s sentiments about how the event had grown in its 26-year history.

“It’s insane,” commented board member Brooke Shields. “It’s almost frightening to me…But the thing I’m most impressed by is that those who are in charge of the Academy have found a way to maintain its integrity. The event is about supporting students, and first and foremost, that’s what David Kratz is motivated by.” Prior to joining the Board, Shields came to the event as a guest, and then began sitting for various artists. “I know so many [of the artists displayed here] personally. When you see them on the wall, you just want to bid and be happy for them.”

The New York Academy of Art is a graduate school founded in 1982 by artists, scholars and patrons of the arts, including Andy Warhol. The Academy combines technical training in drawing, painting and sculpture with active critical discourse.

“I think it’s a big deal that the New York Academy is a classical training program,” said Liev Schreiber. “I don’t know if they would appreciate me describing it that way,” he continued, “But from what I’ve seen, I think it’s really important to get that kind of training. It’s invaluable.”

“I’m a big supporter of the arts, especially because there’s no funding anymore,” commented Ali Wentworth. “On I night like this, I usually stay home with family, but I so worry that the National Endowment of the Arts is going to dry up,” she continued. This was her first time at the event, and she was looking forward to an evening that celebrated creativity. “Art is escapism,” she said.

Other attendees escaping the real-world for the evening included Derek Blasberg, Nick Brown, Helena Christensen, Andy Cohen, Nell Diamond, Pari Ehsan, Alexander Gilkes, Nan Goldin, Princess Alexandra of Greece, Zani Gugelmann, Hugo Guinness & Elliott Puckette, Jane Holzer, Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Caroline Kennedy, Steve Kroft, Padma Lakshmi, Adam Lindemann, Damian & Zoya Loeb, Martin Margulies, Lorne Michaels, Nicole Miller, Richard & Marcia Mishaan, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Colby Mugrabi, Misha Nonoo, Chris Noth, Mary-Kate Olsen, Daphne Oz, Marchesa Cristina Pucci, Lais Ribero, Helen Lee Schifter, Peggy Siegal, Mickalene Thomas, Naomi Watts, Linda Wells, Ali Wentworth, Dustin Yellin, Yelena Yemchuk, Princess Beatrice of York, Kara Young and Bettina Zilkha.


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