Even if the creative types didn’t outnumber the bankers, at least they showed them a good time at the Brooklyn Artists Ball.
Adam Parker Smith was one of 16 artists who designed “table environments” at the fundraiser for the Brooklyn Museum. He joined his guests for Hudson Valley poussin in front of 25 pink-foam sculptures resembling parts of the female anatomy.
“I’d like to be at that table,” said developer David Walentas of Two Trees Management Co., honored with his wife, Jane, for refashioning the borough’s Dumbo neighborhood into a haven for artists and luxury condominium owners.
“This is one of the coolest galas I’ve been to,” said Adam Max, managing principal of Jordan Co., whose place was decorated by images of the moon. “My hats off to Stephanie.”
He was referring to Stephanie Ingrassia, president of the museum and wife of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Tim Ingrassia, who back at her table (decorated with piles of rope by Orly Genger) noted the progress of the ball in its fourth year. For example, she said, guests used to ask how they could purchase the tables’ design elements; this year, some of those elements are for sale, with proceeds going to the museum and the artist.
One such item placed at the center of the museum’s Beaux Arts courtyard was Oliver Clegg’s circular table, which rotated with the help of men wielding big steel bars.
Among its occupants: Rujeko Hockley, an assistant curator of contemporary art, clad in a baby-blue cocktail dress by To Be Adored purchased at the fashion/art boutique American Two Shot, and the boutique’s co-owner, Olivia Lawrence Wolfe, in a pink metallic dress by Antipodium. Her Charlotte Olympia clutch in the shape of an old-school telephone rested on the table.
Wolfe, 29, is a new museum board member, who was in charge of the dance and dessert portion of the ball. A friend at Terrible Records helped her secure rapper Le1f to perform, and she recruited Amirah Kassem, of Flour Shop, to do something Willy Wonka-ish with dessert.
That turned out to be a psychedelic tunnel entered through a lollipop curtain. On the walls for the taking: gummie cherries, cotton candy, miniature ice cream cones filled with cake, blue rock candy arranged in the pattern of a diamond, and popcorn Kassem popped herself.
John Tamagni, retired from running public finance for Lazard, said his mother took him to the museum he now chairs when he was a boy, though at the time he would have preferred to be at Ebbets Field.
Told of hedge-fund manager Marc Lasry becoming an owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, Tamagni didn’t hesitate to offer his own fantasy of professional sports team ownership.
“I would of course own the Brooklyn Dodgers and bring them back,” Tamagni said.
Jeff Peek, of Barclays Capital, said he’d keep the Dodgers in Los Angeles, citing the weather. He added that tonight, he’s attending a Bank of America party in honor of the 100th anniversary of Merrill Lynch.
David Puth, chief executive officer of CLS Group Holdings AG, whose wife, Leslie Puth, is a museum trustee, said he’d be interested in the Boston Red Sox, though he didn’t want to upset his friends given that he now lives on the Upper East Side.
Dick Cashin, managing partner of One Equity Partners LLC and a Brooklyn Museum trustee, said he’d want to own a piece of the Green Bay Packers, “one of the most storied franchises” that represents “football as it was meant to be.” His son, Henry, who works at MasterCard in corporate mergers and acquisitions, said he owns a share of the Packers and once wrote a paper on the team’s public ownership model.
Max said it would be an exciting moment to own the Women’s National Basketball Association’s New York Liberty, or “a minor league team, maybe on Cape Cod, with young people who need advice on what they’ll do after baseball.”
Joe Steinberg, chairman of Leucadia National Corp., said he’d go for an English soccer team, maybe London’s Arsenal.
Tim Ingrassia, a big hockey fan, said he’d be interested in the New York Rangers.
Kehinde Wiley, a portrait painter of black men, said his sport is fishing. He received the Asher B. Durand Award along with Jenny Holzer, who put the phrase “Money Creates Taste” in lights, and Ai Weiwei, whose retrospective at the museum opens tomorrow. Arnold Lehman, the director of the museum, in an Armani suit and Comme des Garcons purple metallic polka-dot tie, encouraged guests to preview the exhibition as well as the new installation by Swoon, built around an extraordinary multicolored tree. The galleries were open until 11; dancing and sugar-highs continued to 1 a.m.