Hamptons Scene: Paulson, Fuhrman at Watermill Where Artists BarkAmanda Gordon
John Paulson wore his shirt untucked. Scott Bommer and Joe DiMenna sported blue button-downs and blazers, Bommer’s with gold buttons. So the least preppy, most fashionable money manager at the Watermill Center Saturday night was Glenn Fuhrman in a black-and-white checked Etro suit.
“You look like a celebrity,” exclaimed Stephanie Roach, director of the FLAG Art Foundation, founded by Fuhrman to exhibit and loan contemporary art.
Fuhrman would later run into Brooke Shields. Paulson had minutes earlier said hello to LuAnn de Lesseps of “Real Housewives of New York.” For now, Roach asked to see the jacket’s lining. Fuhrman flashed the label’s signature colorful design before buttoning up and saying that was for him to enjoy.
No problem. This party, at avant-garde theater artist Robert Wilson’s artistic compound in Water Mill, had plenty of color -- from Bob Jain’s orange sweater, to the greeters in shiny green and pink costumes, to Lithuanian break dancer Jokubas Nosovas coating himself in four paint colors. Even the concrete facade of the main building was brightened with a repeating print of orange and red popsicles in the shape of hands and cassette tapes.
As for colorful moments, there was a man in a tree, a silver lady, and Sierra Casady of the band CocoRosie hypnotically singing, as well as Alexander Soros hanging out with designer Maxwell Osborne and models Rainey Forkner and Taylor Kraemer. But there was no repeat of Lady Gaga and Marina Abramovic drifting by a naked woman in a coffin, as seen during 2013’s benefit.
“It’s very mellow this year,” Fuhrman said. “Not as much shock value.”
It wasn’t just the art that was kinder and gentler. Pathways were redirected so guests didn’t have to walk across a floor of stones. During dinner, auctioneer Simon de Pury said he’d been asked “not to mention a single name” as he coaxed bids. He did his best to accommodate the request. “I know you’re all phenomenally wealthy, phenomenally generous and phenomenally discreet,” he said to butter them up.
Maybe the party had adjusted to an increasingly wholesome Hamptons lifestyle. The artists at the Watermill Center cook and garden together. For many guests, their families, farm stands and the water come first: before Fuhrman put on that Etro suit, he’d taken his daughter out to waterski and visit a farm with pigs.
So why go out? Because risque or not, this event is always fun and never boring as it raises money (more than $1.9 million on Saturday), allowing artists from all over the world to make work and learn from each other.
Standing in the middle of the tent in a crisp white button-down and blazer, Wilson thanked guests and barked like a dog. The artists barked back.