Even Lady Gaga in her most monster-friendly would merely blend in at the Watermill Center's annual summer benefit, themed Devil's Heaven. A woman in a red cocktail dress with matching angel wings was a random guest. Artist Evangelia Rantou performed a solo with chairs from Medea, collapsing her stilt-like props mid-pool. A tethered artist struggled Sisyphus-style grasping at dry ground. Another met the crowds at the entrance; hung, he stood for hours on his toes, dangling from a noose. And Hugh Jackman, more song & dance man than Wolverine, played peek-a-boo with performers painted to blend into trees. Coming up on one, with her leg held so high, her most private genitalia at eye level, I had to gasp until she draped herself around her tree. Surely a Satan's heaven would be Hell, no place for shock, or the demure. Always the benevolent if devilish host, Robert Wilson roamed about the ample space making everyone feel right at home.
Center stage was the art for auction, featuring work by Alice Aycock, Peter Dayton, Christophe de Menil, Franklin Evans, Mica Marder, Shirin Neshat, Dennis Oppenheim, Shannon Plumb, Ed Ruscha, and Cindy Sherman among many others. Exhibitions of work by Dieter Meier and Clementine Hunter remain on display.
Nicole Miller, a guest for the Watermill Center's dinner, was interviewed the next morning at Guild Hall, as part of Fern Mallis' Fashion Insiders series. Their conversation will be broadcast on Sirius XM Radio on August 6. The part time Sag Harbor designer perhaps best known for her print neckties for men--the Metropolitan Opera ticket stub is an example--as well as her decades long career designing for women, including her variation of the LBD (little black dress) and signature smock dress will be branching out to table top items and a cookbook. An art collector herself, owning works by Eric Fishl and April Gornik, and most recently Terence Koh, Miller laughed about inviting her artist friends to dinner, hoping that they have not noticed when she's resituated their paintings.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.