Last Thursday, self-described “dynamic” young professionals elbowed one another to get to a bar made entirely of ice at the Guggenheim’s Young Collectors Party. Last year, I was told, there were two bars. The young woman next to me set her tequila cocktail on the bar. It slid right off, as glass is wont to do on ice, barely missing her well-heeled ankle. Destiny so averted is a shame; it appears our young lady will remain a member of the Young Collectors Council (YCC), and continue to look forward to the day she can proudly say to herself: I am a chairperson. Until then, I can only imagine she is doing God’s work on the YCC Acquisitions Committee, who indeed meet each year to vote on acquisitions for the museum. Who’s afraid of democracy? Not I! Not the Guggenheim!
Though the party remained heavily concentrated in the museum’s lobby, a few guests willingly gave up trying to get a drink and perused a rotunda’s worth of “On Kawara—Silence.” Looking at his spare, haunting date paintings I couldn’t help but reflect on March 19, 2015. I came up with: This is the day before the vernal equinox. “Is 2015 worth a painting?” is a question no attendees answered in an amusing enough way to bother documenting.
Young collectors, it turns out, really have nothing to say. Many of them didn’t seem to know why they were there. Old people at least know why they didn’t come.
I talked to a pair of “best friends,” both wearing bare legs and Christian Louboutin heels and pleasant Sunday school dresses from Barneys:
Did you know young collectors vote on a piece that is acquired by the Guggenheim?
“Yes.” (Actually, four people said no before I found the “best friends.”)
What kind of art do you like?
What contemporary art?
“Yes, contemporary art.”
Got it. And what about you? What kind of art do you like?
“Oh… I like modern.”
I’m glad she chose to really set herself apart there.
Bee Shaffer, Anna Witour’s daughter, was in attendance; I find her hair very boring.
In line for the bathroom, I saw a spirited Scott Rothkopf, a possible saving grace from an otherwise uniform crowd; I never saw him again after that.
Dree Hemingway—the model most famous for her lineage (she’s papa bear’s granddaughter)—said to me, “Isn’t this party fun?” Well, no. She “loves Paddle 8.” Has she bought any art recently? “Yes, on Paddle 8.” Go figure.
It was hard to hear her because DJ Afrika Bambaataa was playing Wild Cherry’s “Play that Funky Music.” The crowd didn’t dance.