Andy Warhol once said, “I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumors to my dogs.” We think we might have the same ailment, but then again, it’s part of our job to be out and about. We saw an endless string of celebrations this year, from staid art-world galas to full-on all-night ragers. As you head out to let loose on the last night of 2012, ARTINFO takes a look back at the year in parties, from Opening Ceremony’s monster nightlife redux to the picnic on Cindy Sherman’s lawn to Moncler’s magical Art Basel Miami Beach soirée in a parking garage.
Best New York Nightlife Redux: Opening Ceremony 10 YR Party
Hundreds of scenesters ventured to Webster Hall to relive the last decade in New York nightlife and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of cool kid retail mecca Opening Ceremony. Iconic parties like MisShapes, The Smiths Night at Sway, and 1992 came back to life for a raging dance party that included cookies, sex toys, ring lights — and a 2 a.m. performance by Lil Kim.
Most Innovative Dinner: Performa’s Relâche -The Party
Carrots in dirt, urchins and snails, and stuffed quail served from a peacock’s cage. No, this wasn’t something out of a Brothers Grimm fairytale, but rather the dinner at the 2012 Performa party, which went far beyond the typically bland gala fare.
Best Low-Key Dance Party: Jayson Musson’s “Halcyon Days” After-Party
The after-party for Jayson Musson’s (aka the man behind YouTube art critic Hennessy Youngman) Coogi-inspired Salon 94 exhibition “Halcyon Days” — held in the gallery’s Freeman’s Alley space — may have been a low-key affair, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t fun. A flowing keg and awesome tunes turned it into a non-stop dance-a-thon — and one of the best art parties we attended all year.
Most Surreal Setting: Moncler’s 60th Anniversary
Rays of light darted throughout a monochromatic white wonderland situated on the 7th floor of Miami Beach’s 1111 Lincoln Road, the futuristic Herzog & de Meuron-designed parking garage, making for a magical backdrop for the quilted coat maker’s 60th birthday bash. The perfect weather and clear views of the city’s skyline made the night even more wondrous.
Most Decadent Rager: Dom Pérignon’s Luminous Rosé Celebration at the Wall
We loved seeing art-world luminaries, socialites, and celebrities dancing atop banquettes while a parade of beautiful women carrying bottles of Dom Pérignon Luminous Rosé topped with fiery sparklers passed through the nightclub.
Best Performance: Wu-Tang at Milk Studios
MADE and Lexus joined forces to bring New York’s most famous hip-hop group, the Wu-Tang Clan, to the stage for a raucous fashion week kick-off party. O.K., maybe it was just Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Method Man, but that didn’t stop the crowd from going wild as they performed hits like “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit.”
Best Fundraiser Held at an Artist’s Home: The Azuero Earth Project Launch at Cindy Sherman’s Hamptons Estate
Seldom do mere mortals get to picnic on a blue-chip artist’s lawn, but Cindy Sherman invited a guest list of hundreds to her Hamptons estate Labor Day Weekend for a fundraiser for the Azuero Earth Project. Suzanne Vega, Rufus Wainwright, and Laurie Anderson entertained while guests noshed on arepas and plantains.
Best Use of 9 Floors: Maison Martin Margiela With H&M Launch
For their fall fashion collaboration, Maison Martin Margiela and H&M invited hundreds to fill the nine floors of beautiful decay that make up 5 Beekman. A pop-up shop selling the collection drew long lines on the top floor; Daniel Arsham, Frederique Chauveaux, and Noemie Goudal created fantastical artworks with the clothes that were displayed on one level; choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and her dancers performed on sand-filled platforms throughout; celebrities like Kanye West and Sarah Jessica Parker were spotted all around; a glorious pour of confetti showered the guests; and a dance party ensued. Need we say more?
Best Pop-Up Club: The Boom Boom Room in Istanbul
Each time the world’s creative masses jet off to an exotic locale, a pop-up club seems to follow. Last May, the Boom Boom Room showed up in Istanbul for the International Arts & Culture Festival, complete with a space that recreated the New York hot spot’s Roman & Williams-designed circular bar.
Best Opportunity to Be an Artist Sold at Auction: Public Art Fund’s Spring Benefit
We never thought we could be a collected artist — until both of the Rob Pruitt “Hot Air Paintings” we made were snapped up at silent auction during Public Art Fund’s spring benefit. Sure, they were sold under Rob Pruitt’s name, but we still enjoyed the moment.