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NEW YORK Performance art can get a little bit racy, so it made sense that controversial artist Karen Finley served as M.C. at Creative Time's Burlesque Bash, a sexy, slightly raunchy benefit to support the acclaimed public art organization's programs.
Industry stars and art world celebs alike—Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and Cindy Sherman were on the event's committee—gathered at Show for the bash. Entertainment included everything from pole dancing and pasties (courtesy of Lisa Kirk, Vanessa Walters and the performer known as the World Famous Bob) to a live auction led by Christie's senior vice president Guy Bennett. Other performers included Dirty Martini and the Wau-Wau Sisters.
With such a saucy lineup of performers, wrangled by creative director Patrick Bonomo of Epicurean Productions (who worked with Creative Time director of development Bess Stiffelman and a team of so-called “Cabaret Curators"), the décor was left simple. Red votive candles dotted tables and gave off a warm, sexy glow, while lingerie and fishnet-clad women walked around carrying cigarette-style trays loaded with free goodies like yoga gift certificates, personal lubricant and perfume for guests to sample.
Show’s catering staff provided such fare as spicy chilled shrimp and rice balls for the 475 guests to nosh on. (Raw oysters, despite their infamous status as aphrodisiacs, weren't on the menu.) Tickets for the event ranged from $150 to $500, and the entire evening raised $80,000.
—Erika Rasmusson Janes