LOS ANGELES — A purple carpet set the stage for the international art, fashion, and film royalty present at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s second-annual Gucci-sponsored “Art + Film” gala on October 27. Guests sipped Laurent-Perrier pink champagne while an orchestra played renditions of Radiohead and Bob Dylan, before actress Evan Rachel Wood serenaded the assembled notables with a performance of Billie Holiday and Ruth Brown songs. The event honored late filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and artist Ed Ruscha, and was co-chaired by actor Leonardo DiCaprio (who was, however, in New York shooting the latest Martin Scorsese film) and LACMA trustee Eva Chow, standing out in a white gown amid a sea of little black dresses.
Hollywood executives Brian Grazer, Bryan Lourd, and Casey Wasserman mingled with movie stars like Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek-Pinault, Robert Pattinson, and Sean Penn. Despite the room’s high wattage, museum director Michael Govan was relaxed as he greeted guests. This year there was “no stress,” Govan told ARTINFO. “Last year, we didn’t have a honoree until the end. This year, with the staff, we were all hanging out in the afternoon, everybody was happy!”
With LACMA the toast of the town, its director had good reason to be pleased. “Beyond the galas, LACMA has become a real destination,” artist Catherine Opie raved. “It constantly brings everybody from the city out and excited — I’m so proud of what Michael Govan has done.”
Besides the Hollywood types, the museum attracted an artist- and collector-heavy guest list including Barbara Kruger, Doug Aitken, New York collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, and French collector François-Henri Pinault, who explained, “We share a Bruce Nauman work [the video piece “For Beginners,” 2010, was jointly acquired by LACMA and François Pinault], so it’s important for us to be here. The center of contemporary art has shifted from New York to L.A. — the city is important on a global level.”
And then there was the fashion crowd. “I don’t think we’re going to see much art here tonight,” fashion journalist Richard Buckley quipped as he chatted with Anna Wintour (the Vogue queen, for her part, declined to comment on the evening, telling ARTINFO, “We’re just visitors here!”) A few feet away, model-turned-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley — wearing the most-talked-about dress of the evening, a voluminous bright green Gucci design, which was a bit difficult to negotiate in a crowd — caught up with supermodel Karlie Kloss. The glamazon duo elicited appreciative looks from guests, with one woman exclaiming in awe, “They’re just so tall!”
Also in attendance was W magazine’s editor in chief Stefano Tonchi and designer Hedi Slimane. Actress/model China Chow and her date, singer Josh Grobin, were tucked away in a corner, while across the room, there was a veritable art-meets-fashion powwow between Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy and legendary L.A. artists John Baldessari and Ruscha.
Still, though people-watching may have been on everyone’s mind, the glittering crowd didn’t lose sight of the evening’s purpose: The 550 guests in attendance raised over $3.5 million to support LACMA’s film initiative.
To see highlights of LACMA's "Art + Film" gala, click on the slideshow.