A very fashionable crowd gathered for The Watermill Center Summer Benefit and Auction and today on July 29, 2014 Examiner.com is excited to share all of the scoop. This is probably one of the most unique art events we have attended in the Hamptons. When we first entered through the trees there was a path made of wood mulch. As we walked forward there was a barefoot young man dressed in white shorts and a white short sleeve shirt holding a long golden trumpet, sitting on a white rock. He had goat ears. Just up ahead of him waiters dressed in black held trays of red cocktails from Casamigos Tequila. There was a white cloud above emanating hazy smoke. To our right down a different path there were two people dressed as clouds twirling in circles. The Watermill center had a large golden stripe in the direct center of the building aligning with its entrance and path.
As we walked up gravel stairs toward the door, a dark male voice whispered as eery music played. Tall green reed surrounded the path on both sides. After we walked through the entrance door, we were greeted by an uneven stone path. Getting across to the other side entailed walking on the flat stones. When we arrived at the backyard of the center, we were greeted by a bevy of photographers, who were looking for a bazaar chic fashion moment to capture. We also spotted the legendary Bill Cunningham darting about. Then someone said "Look up."
Right above the door, there was a man dangling back and forth in front of the wall on a hook, which was fastened to the roof. He was wrapped in long silver confetti strands and swung there for the duration of the cocktail hour. Towards the back of the center of the party, there was a large white tent set up with art on display and a bar of course. Little tables with midnight blue tablecloth were set up for guests to eat and rest their glasses.
We walked across the white gravel field to the forest. Everyone told me that I had to check out the forest. The forest is where all of the performance artists were on display. There was a TV screen with various images. Then to our right there was a naked man lying in the soil with a giant white orb or ball on top of him.
To our left there were two models cleaning up a space. They were both wearing white diapers - one had a Mickey Mouse mask on and the other had a Ronald McDonald mask on. There was another exhibit where a person dressed up in rock like objects was seated on scaffolding, and another exhibit where a woman dressed in a long white Burqa walked up a path as two men on both sides sprayed her with water. When she was closest to onlookers, she began to undress and said "This is my body that gives itself to you."
There was a woman wrapped in red thread that almost formed a tube top dress and trapped her in between the trees sort of like a spider. Then there were models dressed in rubber band mop headpieces as they pretended to play the piano in the air to happy go lucky music. This led to a corner where we met a being dressed entirely in this rubber band mop material. He looked like a Sasquatch. In another exhibit, there were a bunch of tires piled up on a flagpole unevenly.
In another corner, there was a women in a bright red dress seated and trapped in a pile of red pillows singing and saying hi to guests. Another exhibit that caught our attention was a women singing in french in a pothole of sorts with a flower arrangement on her head. Next we went back into the building to see Robert Wilson's video portrait of Lady Gaga. Last year Gaga made a surprise appearance at the event with Marina Abramović.
The Gaga portraits we saw actually premiered in November 2013 as a part of Wilson's "Living Rooms" exhibit at the Louvre. The wall introducing the exhibit read, "By incorporating a multitude of creative elements lighting, costume, make up, choreography, gesture, text, voice, set design and narrative, the video portraits act as synthesis of the different media in the realm of Robert Wilson's art making."
The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation's 21st Annual Summer Benefit called "One Thousand
Nights and One Night: Sleepless Nights of Sheherazade," raised over two million dollars. The silent auction was hosted on Artsy. “In terms of what we do at Watermill, I am proudest when we showcase work that has never been seen in the United States, together with the work of young artists. I am grateful for the unparalleled support we receive each year to continue to provide a creative environment for artists to explore new ideas,” commented Artistic Director, Robert Wilson.
Honoring international art patron Shaikha Paula Al-Sabah, the evening featured new work by 100 artists from 30 countries; the US premiere of Portraits of Lady Gaga by Robert Wilson; and a highlight performance of Sisyphus by acclaimed experimental theatre director, visual artist and choreographer, Dimitris Papaioannou.
The evening was presented by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mouton Rothschild, Casamigos Tequila, Hendrick's Gin, Sag Harbor Rum, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Peroni Nastro Azurro, Organic Gemini, Voss Artesian Water from Norway and illycaffè, which provided illy coffee and espresso cups designed in collaboration with Robert Wilson as part of the evening’s giftbag.
Notables who attended from the fashion world included: Reem Acra, Yigal Azrouel, Phillip Bloch, Nicole Miller, Di Mondo, and Vivienne Tam. Royals that we spotted included Prince Dimitrti of Yugoslavia and Princess Khaliya Aga Khan. Artists that we spotted at the event included Daniel Arsham and Hunt Slonem. Hollywood heavyweights Kim Cattrall, Jim Jarmusch, Mick Rock, Peggy Siegel and Kelly Rutherford were also in attendance mingling with socials Amanda Hearst, Anne Hearst McInerney, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Gregory Soros, Tracy Stern, Jean Shafiroff, Susan Shin and Bettina Zilkha.