Last night, the New York Academy of Art opened its doors for the annual Tribeca Ball, a star-studded evening of cocktails, dining, and (of course) art -- six floors of it from over 100-plus emerging New York artists.
This year's celebration honored Robert De Niro for his longtime support of the arts, and attracted such notable guests as Solange Knowles, Helena Christensen, Padma Lakshmi, Mary Kate Olsen, Naomi Watts and Liev Schrieber, Julianna Margulies, Autumn Klein, Dustin Yellin, James Andrew, Abel Ferrara, Damian Loeb, Zoya Loeb, Paz de la Huerta, Grace Hightower, David Kratz, Harvey Keitel, Kim Catrall, Glenda Bailey, Carla Gugino, Anne Koch, Eli Mizrahi, Michelle Harper, Glenn O'Brien, Fabiola Beracasa, Genevieve Morton, Gabi Asfour, Adi Gil, Harrison Morgan, Guy Clark, Curtis Kulig, David Yurman, Nicolas Bos, Sybil Yurman, Michael Chow, Lily Kwong, Jeff Koons, Nora Zehetner, David Foote, Carla Gugino, and Jessica White.
Champagne in hand, guests explored the sprawling studio and congratulated the artists, who continued to paint, paint, sculpt, sketch, and create throughout the night. The Academy is considered the premier institution for studying the human figure, so naturally, its students' artwork focused on the body. Nudes were a common sight -- and not just on the canvas. In one room, a naked model held a pose while well-dressed patrons, seemingly unaware, munched on miniature hamburgers.
There were surprises at every turn. Each floor featured a different kind of musical entertainment, with such varying instruments as guitars, cellos, xylophones, ukeleles, and even a phosphorescent accordion. Between studios, masked ladies modeled jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels, the Ball's sponsor, while bodyguards kept a vigilant watch on their diamond-studded charges. And on the top floor, guests could literally jump into the artwork, and pose inside live recreations of famous paintings such as Magritte's "The Son of Man."
Afterward, guests proceeded to dinner on the main floor, where they toasted the contributions of Mr. De Niro and the many talented artists who made this inspired evening possible.