Remember when we told you about an upcoming art show in East Hampton called The Pleasurists that was going to feature works by renowned artists William Quigley and Ben Moon, as well as an auction of such paintings as Quigley’s avant-garde portrait of Donald Trump (pictured)? Well, it’s no longer upcoming, it happened last Friday, and it was a wilder experience than anyone anticipated–even those who were aware that comedian Andy Dick would be running the auction.
There was great art galore, of course–Quigley first stepped into the spotlight in 1985 when he showed with Andy Warhol and has gained steam ever since, while Moon’s multimedia mastery extends to immersive, interactive experiences like ROKLYFE, which he performed to the delight of a sweaty, nice-looking crowd that boogied and bid into the night to benefit Guild Hall Center for the Visual and Performing Arts (I like using the full name). Having Russian Standard Vodka–one of my favorites for a proper New York vodka martini–as a sponsor may or may not have helped things along.
And guess what happened? Donald Trump himself purchased his portrait. Well, in his high-tech, I-nod-and-it-is-done way, he was sending texts to uber-art collector Stewart Rahr to snag it on his behalf. The price: upward of $100,000, which goes a long way to supporting all the great cultural activities of Guild Hall. Seriously, you need art, music, and theater in your life. Places like Guild Hall have it. Take advantage.
At the show, Quigley milled around sporting a t-shirt that said "Bullshit Bullshit Namedrop Bullshit," which is now my new guiding philosophy, while women wearing low-cut summer dresses and guys wearing whatever-who-cares-what-guys-wear bounced to the beat, celebrating summer, art, and life.
At first I was somewhat curious about why Trump would buy the painting. Did he pick it up because he didn’t like it, and he wanted to get it off the market so some ironic doofus can’t display it in his living room? No, after looking at it I think Trump genuinely likes it. I do–it’s no Thomas Nast caricature, it’s a penetrating gaze into the eyes of a fascinating man. I wish I could have a Quigley rendering of my coupon some day. Ah well, he tends to do celebs like Shaq. Better work on my points in the paint. (I hear Quigley has an Ethan Hawke and a Mick Jagger hiding too.)
Mark Borghi of Mark Borghi Fine Art, who represents Quigley, was also there, helping draw a batallion of Very Serious Art Collectors, along with three silly ones. There were a bunch of celebrities there too. Should I name them? Bullshit Bullshit Namedrop Bullshit.