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The Drinks at the Edison Ballroom Sure Beat Guy Fieri’s: At the SculptureCenter Gala in Times Square

Juni Figueroa and his Never Ending Tropical Fountain.COURTESY OF BILLY FARRELL AGENCY

Radames ‘Juni’ Figueroa and his Never-Ending Tropical Fountain.

COURTESY OF BILLY FARRELL AGENCY

Tuesday night at The Edison Ballroom in Times Square, the newly-renovated Long Island City nonprofit SculptureCenter held its gala benefit, a stone’s throw from the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. For the evening, the organization turned the ballroom into a pop-up of sorts, peppering the space with a photo booth by Win McCarthy and custom tablecloths designed by Allison Katz, both artists who have work in the current SculptureCenter exhibition, “Puddle, pothole, portal.”

Gobby, the night’s performer during dinner, kept a low-profile, drinking beer and pineapple juice in a lounge chair overlooking the dining area. The Mykki Blanco-collaborator makes the kind of noisy, skewed electronica that is more at home in a warehouse than a gala, and when asked if he was excited to play for a somewhat new demographic, all Gobby could muster was, “Yeah, sure, whatever.” (Like it or not, Gobby’s got some art world fans. Later, at the after-party, the artist Jared Madere was showing off a tattoo he had on his shoulder of Gobby’s face, of all things. “I want to be reminded of him all the time,” he explained. “Isn’t that why you get a tattoo of anyone?”)

Clearly more excited than Gobby was the artist Radames “Juni” Figueroa who had made an “ephemeral sculpture made from fruits and alcohol” specifically for the night called Never-Ending Tropical Fountain (Gala Edition). It looked like a large hookah made of fruit and served rum to guests through a spigot. The Puerto Rican artist was ecstatically tending to his creation. He told us “this is the most high” fountain he has ever made, and referred to his sculptural process as being “improvised.”

Some attendees had clearly been drinking from the fountain of Juni, allowing for a bit of improvisation of their own. “I wasn’t going to drink tonight,” said Board of Trustees Chair Sascha S. Bauer in his welcome speech, citing familial obligations the next day, “but I’m five drinks in so let’s do it.” Bauer had some advice for those in the room maybe feeling a tad burnt out by the art world: “Don’t join ISIS, join ScupltureCenter.”

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