The opening reception for Clare Rojas' new solo exhibition "Inside Bleak" at PC Valmorbida's PRISM gallery Saturday night was fantastic for two reasons: it had the vibe and crowd that included the likes of Russell Simmons, Rachel Zoe and Derek Blasberg, of one of the better NYC events (this according to New Yorkers who were there), and had absolutely nothing to do with the Oscars (hallelujah).
We're grateful the event gods showed a little mercy at the height of awards season and threw L.A. at least one quality occasion that gave art lovers, famous faces, and Los Angelites a non-Oscar reason to step out over the weekend. Presented by Aussie transplant Valmorbida and Jared Najjar, Rojas' show drew an eclectic crowd of celebrities, philanthropists, artists and hip locals of all ages for a first look at the San Francisco artist's newest body of works highlighting domestic abstract interiors.
Guests shuffled through the packed gallery space to admire Rojas' paintings, live installations, a video projection, and original musical performance by the artist under the name Peggy Honeywell. The crowd was one of the best I've seen here in a while with a nice mix of everything but a certain element found at most events in this town, often in large numbers. No bottle service regulars, former VH1 reality show contestants, or anyone from "The Hills".
Among those in attendance were Mark Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Barry McGee, Andy Valmorbida, Michael Stipe, Dasha Zhukova, Jeffrey Deitch, Doug Aitken, Russell Simmons, Derek Blasberg, Jennifer Missoni, Nadine Johnson, Stavros Niarchos, Rachel Zoe, Henry Duarte, Alex von Furstenberg, Aaron Rose, Klaus Biesenbach, Jarred Najjar, Guy Starkman, and many others.
Despite the fact that halfway through the night, the beverages consisted of Pabst Blue Ribbons in plastic ice tubs and seats for the performance meant wherever you could find enough space for yourself on the floor with Jeffrey Deitch, the night maintained a rare level of sophistication and was an affirmation that L.A. can be kind of classy when it wants to be.
Clare Rojas, Jared Najjar, Barry McGee
Tommaso Cardile, Jennifer Missoni; PC Valmorbida, Rachel Zoe
PC Valmorbida, Dasha Zhukova, George Simon
Paige Powell, Jeffrey Deitch
Ashley Olsen, Mary Kate Olsen; Jared Najjar, Nadine Johnson
Henry Duarte, Karyna Myres, Ron Volz
Clare Rojas, PC Valmorbida
PC Valmorbida, Doug Aitken, Dasha Zhukova, Klaus Biesenbach, Alanna Heiss
PC Valmorbida, Russell Simmons; Dori Cooperman, Alexandra Von Furstenberg
[All photos by David X Prutting for Billy Farrell Agency]