“There are 100 artists here tonight,” announced Nathalie de Gunzburg, Chairman of Dia, to a round of applause at Tribeca 360 for the Dia Art Foundation’s Fall Gala. That 100 included heavy-hitters like Robert Whitman, Fred Wilson, and Julien Schnabel, and art-lovers like China Chow, Parker Posey, Gilles Bensimon, Giovanna Battaglia, and Karolina Kurkova in the crowd. “Art comes in so many different forms. What we do, fashion, it’s art. Photography is art. Really, we are all artists supporting artists,” said Kurkova.
And there was a lot to support this year, particularly after the recent news of Dia’s long-awaited acquisition of a new property on 22nd Street in Manhattan. “We just like spending money,” joked Philippe Vergne, the Director of Dia, to the packed room. “I won’t tell you what I needed to do to close the deal. Because it was nothing. Nothing my mother wouldn’t approve of…Unfortunately.”
The levity seemed to be contagious—the crowd at the sit-down dinner was so talkative that the speeches from Vergne and Gunzburg were almost drowned out. Though Vergne didn’t seem to mind that he didn’t have the crowd’s complete attention. “It was exceptional. Very good people… and good looking people,” he said afterward with a smile.
The energetic, kitchy-cute dance performance from the troupe Girl Walk // All Day had everyone paying attention, even if the silence was at first mostly out of confusion as to why an overly cheerful woman was dancing wildly through the maze of rectangular tables.
After dinner, DJ Sebastien Perrin and the Girl Walk // All Day gang (who had by this time added colorful flashing balls to their act] entertained the after party. Some brave partygoers even joined in, though it was hard to keep up with the trio’s non-stop moves. “God, aren’t they tired yet?” one observer wondered aloud.
Clearly it was a night for celebrating art in all of its forms. “I love Dia because it allows you to dream,” said de Gunzburg. “Dia has no limits. You define its limits.” And for Kurkova, while she loves her Richard Avedon photos, what are her most important pieces? “Now my art will be my son’s art,” she says of her baby, Tobin Jack. “That’s what I’ll be framing.”