The Carnival Comes to Deitch for Shepard Fairey's Opening

Gallerist and MOCA director-to-be Jeffrey Deitch held his final public opening in New York on Saturday evening, attracting a hulking crowd of celebrities, artists, and assorted hangers-on to his Wooster Street gallery for Shepard Faireys “May Day” show. Hundreds of people spilled out of the gallery in a carnivalesque scene resembling one of Deitch's signature Art Parades, only confined to a single block: leather-clad men dawdled on gaudy custom motorcycles, a fire-breather performed, extravagantly dressed hipsters modeled various poses of disaffection, and young children savored lollipops. This was all outside the gallery, which had been sealed off from the masses with a velvet rope and temporary metal fences, causing the line for entry to stretch around the block.

Inside that cordon, Deitch bounded about in a pastel-pink suit, a knit red tie around his crisp white collar, chatting with luminaries that included writer Salman Rushdie, actor Adrien Brody, and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, who was also spotted last week at a party for the new Basquiat documentary. (Interestingly enough, one of Fairey’s portraits showed that legendary late street artist, once a close confederate of Deitch.)

The next day, Deitch closed the Josh Smith show that has been on display since late last year at his cavernous space in Long Island City, where Gladstone Gallery will take up residence when the dealer leaves for Los Angeles.

Click the photo gallery at left to see more scenes from the opening.