Sunday, May 02, 2010

Arty Parties

Level of conviction in own genius: 7
Hours of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: 1
Listening: Joanna Newsom's new album 'Have One On Me'
Hair day: under a cloud

Two arty parties recently, at either end of the spectrum:

Whitechapel Art Gallery
I jumped at the guest list tickets from my new muso buddy Stuart, whose contemporary classical combo Chroma were appearing briefly. What I didn't realise was the high profile society Art-eratti vibe of the night, so Andy and I were slightly surprised to rock up just behind Tracy Emin in a big white coat posing for the paps. Hysterical! Inside was a legion of champagne flutes lined up to do a battle with the gulping gullets of the rich and posh and arty, an oyster bar, a DJ playing crappy Big House, many many small canapes, and lots of people dressed up to nines hiding behind their bling bags gossiping about everyone else. We spotted Jay Jopling, Gavin Turk, Peter York, Peter Blake, Jefferson Hack, Johnny Borrell, plus Bat for Lashes, Bishi and Jack Penate who were all performing with little attention from the yabbering, free cocktail-glugging hordes. Kate Moss was apparently there but had her own enclosure - what is she, the most famous goat in London? It was all a bit silly, but apart from Chroma's moment in the sun (messing around with a Beethoven loop), the most enjoyable moment was the Sotheby's-run auction for charity: minor offerings (most notably a Bridget Riley and some limited edition Gavin Turk/Sid Vicious prints) were snapped up double-quick for all sorts of silly money in an exhilaratingly rattled-out style. It was well we assumed a deadpan expression throughout: one unconscious facial tic later and we would have been going home £7,000 lighter with a crappy cat-cardboard-collage under one arm...

Mulberry House
Rather the same, except without the famous people, canapes and paparazzi, this was a rather more intimate affair chez Club Mulberry, ie our fabulous flat, for Andy and my April birthdays. Our wheeze this year was for people to contribute a piece of A4-sized art which we would then auction off. The concept took off brilliantly, with most people bringing offerings that encompassed the likes of photo montage, mixed media, graphic scores, glitter, beads and paint, some silly, some proper. Andy then auctioned them off, Sotheby's-fashion, and there was some unexpectedly heated, beer-fuelled bidding which resulted in about 20 pieces raising £137 for The National Autistic Society, which our mate Ed was running for in the next day's London Marathon (and which he did, having slept for only 2 hours, in 3 hours and 34 minutes. Hot dang!). Hurrah! The tabloids missed a treat!