Old School New York Pitches In to Help Bon Vivant Anthony Haden-Guest Get His Art Collection Back

Anthony Haden-Guest with Penny Arcade (far left) and Colette (far right)
(Photo by Clayton Patterson)

NEW YORK — A cast of colorful characters, most of whom were probably the coolest kids in the room about three decades ago, gathered downtown at former hot spot Hiro last night to support the usually-inebriated nightlife veteran, man-about-town, and art writer Anthony Haden-Guest. The reason behind the benefit? To get back Haden-Guest’s art collection, which was sold by Public Storage two years ago when he failed to pay a $1,350 bill. Now the writer has to pay $350,000 for his loot. While Haden-Guest refused to comment to us on his lost possessions, various sources have stated that the estimated value of the trove is anywhere from $1 million to $2 million and supposedly consists of some early Damien Hirst drawings, along with pieces by Francis Bacon and David Salle. The 75-year-old charged a $30 entrance fee at the door, and guests happily obliged.

Many of the marquee names — artist Christo, “Slaves of New York” writer Tama Janowitz, and “Bright Lights, Big City” author Jay McInerney — listed on the party’s Facebook invite were noticeably absent. “Jay got the date mixed up,” Haden-Guest said of McInerney. But there were other notable faces in the crowd. Clayton Patterson, the documentarian who famously filmed the Tompkins Square Park riots in 1988, was there shooting photographs, and “Le Freak” scribe Nile Rodgers gave a reading from his book. The most famous personality of the night was Blondie’s Debbie Harry, who made a brief appearance before heading back out into the night.

But what was undeniable was the audience’s adoration for Haden-Guest as a string of performances — including DJ Spooky, musician James Chance, and the band the  Aliens – took place. Writer Glenn O’Brien contributed a playful ode to the host. “Some people think it’s a disgrace to be the town drunk, but in New York, it’s an incredible achievement,” O’Brien joked on stage. “It’s a tragedy what happened to him,” O’Brien later told ARTINFO

Click on the slide show above to see highlights from Public Storage Blues, a benefit for Anthony Haden-Guest.