The only thing that overshadowed the sight and sound of Janelle Monáe’s performance at The Museum of Contemporary Art’s Gala the other weekend was watching MOCA Director Philippe Vergne bust a move on the dance floor while she belted her heart out. (In case you were wondering, the man has some smooth moves). The whole evening oozed cool, from honoree artist John Baldessari (who returned as an artist trustee last year) to the space itself (The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA). Cocktails where served under a Frank Gehry-designed canopy. The tent where dinner was held was made of plastic which allowed partygoers to ogle the DTLA skyline (and allowed onlookers from nearby East West Players to peek in on the action from their fire escape). The floor glowed with a nod to Baldessari’s “dots.”
Vergne took his glasses off before speaking about Baldessari. “He is a board member who tells it like it is—and we need it,” he said to the 770 guests gathered from the worlds of art, fashion, film, music, and design. Baldessari’s mantra “I will not make any more boring art” was scrawled over and over on the walls.
“We are blessed to be artists,” Monáe said before launching into hits like Tightrope, Primetime, and Dance Apocalytic. Notable guests included Patricia Arquette, Barbara Kruger, Dita Von Teese, Catherine Opie, Mark Bradford, China Chow, Doug Aitken, Ed Ruscha, Shaun Regen, Dallas Price-Van Breda, and Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, among others. Louis Vuitton presented the gala.
Guests viewed the William Pope.L Trinket exhibit, which will be on display until June 28th—check it out if for no other reason than it is an art exhibit where you can literally hear the American flag.