“It’s a simple idea, but it really makes a difference,” said Brian Donnelly, better known as KAWS, at the fourteenth annual RxArt Party at The Altman Building in Chelsea last night. The famed graffiti artist, who just so happened to be the bash’s guest of honor, was speaking of the nonprofit’s very direct function of placing dynamic fine art—Candy Land–style clouds by Will Cotton, dog balloons by Jeff Koons, and a puzzle of bubble gum by Dan Colen, among others—in children’s hospitals around the country. Of course, yesterday evening, the premise (supporting RxArt by way of procuring some rather fabulous artwork) was fuss-free, as well. Guests—Agnes Gund, Honor Fraser, Fabiola Beracasa, Misha Nonoo, and Vogue’s Sarah Brown—gathered to sip tequila cocktails and contemplate their next Rob Pruitt, Diana Al-Hadid, or sculpture (a sesame bagel turned evening bag) by Chloe Wise.
A quick look around the room found Derek Blasberg examining Pruitt’s ombré offering, while Jeanette Hayes looked on and Nate Lowman manned the decks. For many, the evening’s appeal was multifold: “Brian brought us out!” declaredRyan McGinness, with a fedora-sporting José Parlá (who contributed a work celebrating his native Miami) chiming in that while they “might just bid on everything,” the real draw of the night was supporting their longtime friend and, as he put it, “sharing the love.”
Later in the evening, temperatures rose as pieces by Pruitt, Parlá, Sylvie Fleury,and KAWS (a primary-colored acrylic that went for $220,000) were sold by live auction. “It’s exciting,” said RxArt founder and president Diane Brown. “The pieces they donate are very valuable—worth so much more—but I think they get a lot out of working with us, too: To think that your art can make a difference for a sick child, I mean, what’s better than that?”
– Ashley W. Simpson