This week's hottest bash was in celebration of some art thing that I am far too young and out of touch to bother trying to understand. It was one of New York's seemingly endless string of art events. But it wasn't one of those parties full of hot young people doing coke and smoking cigarettes indoors. This was the sort of art party that old, rich people attended—people who used to do coke and smoke indoors 30 years ago, when Manhattan was still cool and Brooklyn didn't exist yet. (Back before they had Wikipedia pages.)
This is the circle of life for artists; you begin as a hot, young, up-and-coming art star who dates or loathes (or both) older patrons/critics/collectors/mentors and then, years later, if you're lucky, you become them. Party Girl here, reporting live from your future.
The man on the left of this image is literally named John Pappajohn. That's real. I'm not making a joke here. I was going to try to come up with a funny backstory about what these guys used to do in their youth—or maybe I was going to make fun of their glasses—but when I discovered this man's name, I realized that I wouldn't be able to think of anything funnier. John Pappajohn. Imagine giving birth to a baby, knowing your last name is Pappajohn, and deciding to name him John. Also, how do you think Papa John of Papa John's Pizza feels about this guy?
Before the party got too crazy, I took a poll of all partygoers. "Whats the best possible thing that could happen at an event like this?" I asked. Almost unanimously, people answered with, "Marina Abramovic shows up." Which, as you can see from this photo, she did. When she walked through the door you could hear an audible sigh of relief from everyone in attendance. The party, everyone smugly agreed, was officially cool. "I HAVE ARRIVED," Abramovic announced before she posed for a few photos and disappeared in a puff of smoke shortly after arriving.
Later in the evening I spotted Lawrence Weiner, a much admired artist who was one of the central figures of the mid-century conceptual art movement. He's pictured (right) wearing a literal scrunchie in what's left of his hair. Hell yeah.
Apparently, it has become a tradition at events like these to count how many drinks Weiner consumes. A persisting rumor in the art world is that the artist is completely immune to alcohol; it has no effect on him. Indeed, I kept count of Weiner's drinks and tallied 80 glasses of wine. But at the end of the night I noticed absolutely no change in the way he acted. His words remained perfectly enunciated and he had no trouble keeping balance. Is he even human? Lawrence Weiner seems like he may actually live forever.
Here is John Pappajohn with his wife, Mary Pappamary. They also have two beautiful children named Greg Pappagreg and Drew Pappadrew.
In the scraggly voice of someone who has been a smoker for 60 years, a man with white hair introduced himself to me as "Jerry." Jerry and I got to talking and he let slip that he was hired by the hosts of the party to be "the token creepy old guy who puts his hand on your hip just low enough to be inappropriate, but not in an obvious way." As shown in this photo, above, he is great at his job. When he is not employed at art parties, he grows out his beard and impersonates Santa Claus at malls, where young children sit on his lap and cry.
The man on the right brought his 16-year-old son, who—after getting a little toasted off the two glasses of white wine he "scored" from the open bar—locked himself in the bathroom. According to my sources, he spent the rest of the night repeatedly refreshing Twitter and Instagram.
Nobody at the party had any idea who this man (right) was. When I asked him what he was doing here, he burst into tears. Some insiders think Marina Abramovic brought him as her latest performance art piece. Others purport that he just wandered in from the street. One person I spoke to swears that they saw him performing with the Blue Man Group in full body makeup earlier this week.