WATERMILL WELCOMES RECORD-BREAKING CROWD TO ‘HOUSE OF MADNESS’ BENEFIT & AUCTION

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View Photo Gallery of The Watermill Center “Fada: House of Madness” benefit (50 photos) 

On July 30th, the Watermill Center welcomed more than 1,000 guests to the Hamptons for the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation’s 23rd Annual Summer Benefit & Auction. Themed “FADA: House of Madness,” this year’s event drew its biggest crowd ever, which may have been due to a rumored Kanye West performance. Despite the fact that Mr.West was a no-show, (Watermill director Robert Wilson said his planned performance was “too elaborate” and had to be postponed until next year), never-before-seen performance art and a Ja Rule show meant that guests were definitely not disappointed, despite the stormy weather. Watermill is known for its avant-garde art installations and this year was no exception. Even the event sponsor, Plukka got in on the art action. The luxury jewelry retailer, who supported Watermill for the 2nd consecutive year, incorporated diamond pieces into the performances and contributed to the day’s “colorful disruption” by outfitting many attendees with Plukka gems.

As guests braved their way through rainy grounds they were rewarded with glimpses of Jacques Reynaud’s Angels of the Apocalypse – winged figures whose presence was accented by the background music of Anohni. Semi-anonymous art collective, Bruce High Quality Foundation, exhibited a number of performances, lectures, and a boat filled with models and ice water, under the title, As We Lay Dying. John Margaritis showed One ton tank in which a swimmer struggled in a water-filled vessel with weights attached to his feet. Tony Matelli unveiled a series of religious sculptures adorned with colorful foods made of bronze and in the same path, Marie de Testa gave guests Gold, a number of metallic trees. Nikita Shokhov exhibited videos that centered around P.Y.T.s in surf wear and by the bonfire. Russian provocateurs, Pussy Riot, put a twist on Trump with an installation that included something resembling an electric chair and graffiti stating, “Make America Great Again.” Another much talked about installation was G.T. Pellizzi’s light piece, Constellation in Red, Yellow, and Blue.

This year’s Watermill Summer Benefit & Auction honored philanthropist Madame Giancarla Berti for her support. Proceeds from the event help fund Watermill’s artists residency programs. Over 125 lots were donated to the auction by various artists, including a painting by Henry Taylor, a tapestry by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, and portraits of winning bidders by Peter Lindbergh and Nan Goldin, in her first ever private commission.

Guests to Watermill included Abdullah Al Awadi, Tory Burch, Seth Cameron, Jayma Cardoso, Nicholas Coblence, Paula Cooper, Susan & David Edelstein, Kim Heirston Evans & Richard Evans, Eric Firestone, Kate Foley, Amanda & Glenn Fuhrman, Jeremy Grosvenor, Audrey & Martin Gruss, Troy Halterman, Dana Hammond, Jack Hanley, Amanda Hearst, Leila Heller, Kathy & Richard Hilton, Jane Holzer,Barbara & Chiswell Langhorne, Alexia Leuschen, Jack Macrae, Fern Mallis, Nicole Miller & Kim Taipale, Edward Nahem, Sophie Oakley,Holly Peterson, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Polina Proshkina, Sarah & Izak Senbahar, Eric Shiner, Gregory Soros, Jill Stuart, Patrick Stubbs, Lady Nahid Taghinia Milani, Bara & Alex Tisch, Johannes Vogt, Neda Young and The Untitled’s Indira Cesarine.

Photography by Brian Henderson for The Untitled Magazine, and courtesy of BFA, The Watermill Center 

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