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Nude Models & Disco for Art Benefit

December 12, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

New York Academy of Art's Tribeca Ball fund-raiser Eyebeam Atelier Wednesday, 12.05.01, 7 PM onward
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A-list celebrities and artists gathered at the industrial looking raw space Eyebeam Atelier for the New York Academy of Art's 20th annual Tribeca Ball, chaired by David Bowie and Iman. About 345 guests paid the recession-proof price of $500 to attend the funky, yet glamorous event, which was planned by R&D.

Freelance event designer Simon Costin served as creative director for the event, producing a tableau vivant (that's a still life to some of us) of live nude models with a variety of odd props--a bicycle, a rocking horse--in the middle of the cocktail area. Artists from the academy then showed off their skills in charcoal, oil, and clay as guests mingled around them (and the models they were immortalizing) and admired the works-in-progress. (The academy also used live nude models at a benefit auction in June.) Cellist Noah Hoffeld provided cocktail-hour music, and then proceeded to destroy his instrument with a hammer as guests were seated for dinner. Ahh, performance art.

In the dining area, Chinese lanterns covered with brightly patterned silk scarves provided ambient lighting, and an eclectic mix of tables and chairs--everything from old Victorian styles to Jacobean chairs to modern, futuristic pieces--served as the backdrop for dinner. A dessert buffet was also loaded with props, including paintings by academy students, a Madonna and Child, oversize candy props and a suspended hammerhead shark. The props were a mix of Costin's own flea market finds and rented items from Eclectic/Encore Props and Props for Today.

While Feast & Fetes' menu--a veloute of curried cauliflower and MacIntosh apple with lobster and coriander, followed by roasted chicken with wild mushrooms and salsify and a gratin of polenta with Swiss chard and parmesan--was being served, the tableau vivant was cleared from the other part of the space make way for the disco-themed dancing portion of the evening. DJ Baby Blu (whose friend Moby was the disco co-chair) did the spinning, and a Saturday Night Fever-inspired light-up dance floor from RentQuest and disco balls beckoned to a guest list that included Kim Cattrall, Debbie Harry and disco co-chair Damien Loeb.

About 350 tickets for the disco sans dinner were sold for $125. One hundred percent of the night's proceeds are going to the Academy, with a percentage set aside to provide free drawing classes for public school students most affected by the September 11 attacks.

--Erika Rasmusson

Read our coverage of the New York Academy of Art's Take Home a Nude auction...

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