Scene Last Night: David Rubenstein, Paul McCarthy, Chloe Sevigny

Lincoln Center
Reynold Levy, president of Lincoln Center, and David Rubenstein, managing director and co-founder of the Carlyle Group. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Before the clock struck six last night, David Rubenstein, managing director and co-founder of the Carlyle Group, was at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall talking business -- the culture business, that is -- with Reynold Levy, the president of the Manhattan performing arts complex.

As often happens at Lincoln Center benefits, that brief conversation gave way to lengthier cultural consumption. Rubenstein had a ticket for the all-Beethoven program by Joshua Bell and the Academy of St.-Martin-in-the-Fields.

David Coulter, a managing director at Warburg Pincus and gala honoree, picked Beethoven too, for reasons his wife explained.

“The men who work the 80-hour-a-week jobs, they recharge themselves through the arts,” Susan Coulter, chairman of the Global Film Initiative, said. “If you can’t go trout fishing after work, you go to a concert.”

The Coulters fish for trout together. (Neither would say who has caught the bigger fish.)

As for concertgoing: “You walk away with a sense of energy, saying to yourself, ‘I can be creative,’” David Coulter said.

Artist Paul McCarthy was some kind of creative in his remarks at the New Museum gala, held last night at Cipriani Wall Street.

“Uh, okay, summary,” McCarthy began his honoree speech.

A stream of words followed.

Financial Bubble

“Financial bubble, dollars, material bubble, to learn to relax” he said. “Suburbs, John Cage, what’s what,” he added. “Dress up, pretend, pretend, pretend.”

In this context, the special-edition sculpture of a mushroom by artist Carsten Holler was an entirely appropriate take-home gift for guests including Chloe Sevigny and Leelee Sobieski.

The award for exercising creativity at a gala goes to the guests of Publicolor’s Stir, Splatter + Roll.

These folks put on Tyvek suits over their business and party attire and painted artworks in the hallways of Martin Luther King Jr. High School.

Artists and designers including Mark di Suvero, Carleton DeWoody and Edwin Schlossberg supervised the fun, which helped get across Publicolor’s mission to elevate students by painting their public schools in mood-lifting colors.

Christo was there to show his support last night. So was Lisa Perry, wife of hedge-fund manager Richard Perry. She had splatter-painted her dress for the party.

Publicolor board chairman Deven Parekh, a managing director at Insight Venture Partners, brought the Publicolor concept to his firm. Employees choose the color of their office. Parekh’s is peach.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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