In Victor Bockris' biography on Andy Warhol, Warhol describes his dream of attending one of his famed parties and mingling with all of his paintings' subjects who have magically come to life around him.
Last night, painter Kimberly Brooks got to live out Warhol's dream. Brooks' current solo show "The Stylist Project" opened Saturday at Culver City gallery Taylor de Cordoba and last night, Vanity Fair, Dior, and Taylor de Cordoba came together to throw a one-night-only soiree benefiting P.S. ARTS.
Kimberly's endeavor is lofty -- she has gathered stylists and fashion icons who function somewhat like the Wizard of Oz, working behind the scenes to shape current trends and styles. One by one, she has asked these trend-shapers to style themselves and sit for her in the comfort of their own homes, closets, apartments, or backyards. The effect is at once compelling and inviting. Brooks turns the camera and canvas onto those who are more accustomed to being behind them, but in doing so, she establishes a level of comfort with the stylists that is not only recognizable in the portraits, but also felt at the crowded event.
Weaving in and out of the gallery's rooms, attendees could see Brooks' jewel-toned portraits intermingled with the portrayed stylists themselves, including Janie Bryant, Nancy Steiner, Rose Apodaca, Cameron Silver, Jessica Paster, and Arianne Philips - to name a few. What was extraordinary about the night is that here you had an event with 15 portraits of unique people who aren't necessarily famous or immediately recognizable, but they were all in the room with you and with their art. Imagine if you went to a museum, and all the people in the paintings were alive and interactive. That's exactly what happened Monday and it was fascinating -- taking the night out of the realm of static art show, and making it a real happening.
Actor Ginnifer Goodwin sat for her portrait two weeks before the show and her portrait was promptly sold with 100% of the proceeds gone to benefit P.S. Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving children's lives by bringing arts education to under-served schools and their communities.
Notable attendees included Michael Govan, Norman Lear, Arianna Huffington, Abbie Cornish, Nia Vardalos, Ginnifer Goodwin, James Van Der Beek, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jordana Brewster, Marisa Tomei, Perrey Reeves and Christina Hendricks.
"The Stylist Project" runs at Taylor de Cordoba 2660 S. La Cienega Blvd., through April 3, 2010.