Inside the 2023 Whitney Museum Art Party
Like most art events, the Whitney Museum’s astrology-themed Art Party on Tuesday night was a night full of people looking to be stared at while pretending to look at the art.
Before entering, I noticed people standing outside the museum with signs saying “Honk in support of Whitney workers”, in support of employees who have been negotiating a pay rise for over a year, in vain. Inside, the party was oblivious to their protest, jam-packed with attendees who had been asked to dress in an outfit “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 glass of ‘tequila sip’ champagne from bottles with 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 drink – it wasn’t cold; enough said. 1 tequila while sipping.
After spending a few minutes obsessing over the large rotating garland chandelier (it’s an artistic thing, after all), I headed to the bathrooms. Down the stairs, I bumped 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 really feel like I gravitate around very solid, earthy people because I feel like I can soar. If the woman with the strongest core in the world is worried about blowing away, there’s little hope for the rest of us.
As I resurfaced, I walked past Ashley Graham, who bravely revealed she was a Scorpio, though she thought she was posing more like 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 that than with a virgin.” 5 tequilas while sipping.
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 it was a Capricorn – my mistake. “God, you are the third person to ask me that. I am actually a Taurus. I bought these thinking I could throw them away after 20 minutes, and now I guess I should.
Eventually, I headed to the bar, where I met entertainer Chloe Wise, one of the evening’s hosts, and Beverly Nguyen, a home products connoisseur. I asked them their signs, like you usually do at an astrology-themed party, and they both laughed. “I actually completely forgot my sign tonight,” Nguyen said of her look. Wise replied in the same vein – “I just put on an outfit.” I was relieved to hear their answers, because I, a Pisces, wore black. In New York, we concluded, this is still the dress code. 5 tequilas while sipping.
Photo: Mike Vitelli/BFA.com
Nearby, I found food personality Andy Baraghani. His hair was bleached – a new development. As a fellow fake blonde, I take great pleasure in swapping stories from the life of a blonde, and he, in his dark jacket and pants, took the time to hook up with Nili Lotan, the event sponsor who dressed for the evening, adding that he was grateful to wear a palette that complemented his new hair: “As a new blonde, I feel very good in my head-to-toe dark look.” 5 tequilas while sipping.
By the time I finally got to the art, the party was in full swing. Only the vague thump of DJ sets from 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 – looking at Edward Hopper’s stoic and lonely paintings in a crowded room. 4 tequilas while sipping.
Photo: Mike Vitelli/BFA.com/Mike Vitelli/BFA.co
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