Anna Weyant’s much-anticipated show “Baby, It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over” opened at Gagosian’s Upper East Side location Thursday night. There was a long line to get into the elevator and more awaiting at the viewing rooms.
Though security guards at art openings and museums tend to dress in inconspicuous costumes and stand silently at the edges, at Gagosian last night they donned impeccable, colorful suits, and were more akin to bouncers. They patrolled the hard-to-guard openings to the show’s two viewing rooms and urged people into tidy lines, as some sneaked in behind their backs with chins raised. All the money in the world, and they’re dodging bouncers. It’s art world funny, like watching people in gowns and tuxedos grab greedily at canapés and champagne flutes at the galas.
Upstairs hung seven new paintings by Weyant, 27, while downstairs featured drawings and studies. But, everywhere: Hermès. Once inside the viewing room, there were many a rich, middle-aged lady snapping pictures on their iPhones, saying, “I want that one.” Good luck. Threaded through the throng of wannabe collectors, were cooler, younger people in weird, awesome outfits. But, as Weyant walked through the crowd (actually, she didn’t walk, per se, as she was in turns accosted and freed by congratulations at every step), she seemed a world apart from the edgy or artsy.
With her blonde hair held up with a black clip, Weyant wore a silk navy blazer with a black bra underneath, a sequined, silver miniskirt, and gold, bedazzled platform heels. Her hypnotic eyes and firm, bony handshake undercut her breathy voice. “I feel good,” she told ARTnews of the show. “I feel relieved.”
Mingling in the crowd at different points throughout the night, celebrities, artists, and art collectors: Marc Jacobs (he had his engagement party at Gagosian’s house in St. Barths in 2010), Stanley Whitney, Glenn Furhmann, Aby Rosen, Bill and Maria Bell. Also in attendance, her muses: Venus Williams and Eileen Kelly, both of whom were subjects of Weyant’s paintings.
Williams may be a real star, but Kelly is the star of Weyant’s show. Featured in two of the paintings, Two Eileens (2022) and Eileen (2022), Kelly broke out on Instagram, first for her softly provocative photos, and then as a sexpert and podcaster. In both of Weyant’s paintings, Kelly is doubled, her pink clothing about to slip off, exposing white panties. Weyant draws out her vision of sensuality: girlish, pastel and round, set against the void of black, lying in wait with all the gothic edge of a spider.
Weyant’s muse doesn’t need to look for the others’ gaze. She knows it’s already on her.