Like most art events, the Whitney Museum’s astrology-themed Art Party on Tuesday night was an evening full of people looking to be looked at while pretending to look at art.
Before entering, I noticed people standing outside the museum with signs that said, “Honk to Support the Whitney Workers,” in support of employees who have been negotiating for a wage increase for over a year, to no avail. Inside, the party was indifferent to their protest, packed to the gills with attendees who were instructed to dress in attire “inspired by your zodiac sign.” Below, I’ve ranked the entire evening on a scale of one to five “sipping tequilas,” the event’s signature drink.
Upon arrival, I was offered a Champagne glass of “sipping tequila” from bottles bearing the Whitney’s signature on the label, a collaborative effort with Casa Dragones, one of the party’s sponsors. I took a picture of the bottle, but declined a glass — it wasn’t cold; enough said. 1 sipping tequila.
After spending a few minutes fixated on the large, rotating tinsel chandelier (this is an art thing, after all), I made my way to the bathrooms. Down the stairs, I ran into Tracy Anderson, who, it turns out, knows a lot about her astrological placements: “I’m actually a triple Pisces. So I feel all the creativity that comes with this fluid sign, and I definitely feel like I gravitate towards people who are very solid and earthy because I do feel like I could float away.” If the woman with the world’s most solid core is concerned about floating away, there’s little hope for the rest of us.
As I resurfaced, I passed by Ashley Graham, who bravely revealed that she is a Scorpio, though believes she comes off as more of a Leo. Artist Zoe Buckman put a different spin on her celestial look for the evening, donning two Stars of David on the front of her dress: “I think right now, I identify more with this than I do as a Virgo.” 5 sipping tequilas.
Photo: Mike Vitelli/BFA.com
Upon entering, I was immediately struck by the number of attendees sporting animal horns as headgear. I approached one, guessing he was a Capricorn — my mistake. “God, you’re the third person to ask me this. I’m actually a Taurus. I bought these figuring I could throw them away after 20 minutes, and now I guess I ought to.”
Eventually, I made my way toward the bar, where I met with artist Chloe Wise, one of the party’s hosts, and stylist–slash–home goods connoisseur Beverly Nguyen. I asked them their signs, as one is wont to do at an astrology-themed party, and they both laughed. “I actually completely forgot my sign tonight,” said Nguyen of her look. Wise responded in the same vein — “I just put on an outfit.” I was relieved to hear their responses, as I, a Pisces, was wearing all-black. In New York, we concluded, that’s always the dress code. 5 sipping tequilas.
Photo: Mike Vitelli/BFA.com
Nearby, I found food-world personality Andy Baraghani. His hair was bleached — a new development. As a fellow fake blonde, I take great pleasure in swapping stories of the light-haired life, and he, in his dark jacket and pants, took the moment to plug Nili Lotan, the event sponsor who dressed him for the evening, adding that he was grateful to be wearing a palette that complemented his new hair: “As a new blond, I feel very good in my head-to-toe dark-colored look.” 5 sipping tequilas.
By the time I finally got to the art, the party was in full swing. Only the vague thump of DJ sets by Questlove and the Muses, playing downstairs, could be heard from the gallery floor, and it occurred to me that there is something strange — and almost satirical — about looking at Edward Hopper’s stoic, lonely paintings in a crowded room. 4 sipping tequilas.
Photo: Mike Vitelli/BFA.com/Mike Vitelli/BFA.co