Los Angeles Galleries Brought Out the Celebs With Oscars Week Openings


As Angelenos gave themselves whiplash in their attempts not to miss any Oscar-week star sightings, the art world played a supporting role to Hollywood’s leading-lady position. Nevertheless, contemporary art made its presence known in the lead-up to Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, notably with openings at Gagosian and Prism galleries.

On Thursday night, Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills hosted an opening for “Cowboys,” a solo show by Richard Prince. Guests who arrived right at 6, such as the prompt André Balazs, were able to take their time walking through the galleries to admire Prince’s newest series of iconic cowboy paintings. A half hour later, the crush of people made it virtually impossible to look at any of the work. And a few minutes after that, everybody had their backs to the paintings and the people watching officially stole the show. Pamela Anderson (top), Michael ChowJeffrey DeitchElton JohnTerry RichardsonAdrien Brody (above), and Mario Testino all mingled while photographers scurried about making sure to get the shots.

Two nights later, a few of the same faces were seen at Testino’s Prism Gallery opening on the Sunset Strip. Testino stood at the back of the gallery, graciously fielding an endless series of questions and autograph requests while guests including Kim KardashianCarolyn Murphy,Russell Simmons, and Marisa Tomei looked on. This marked the legendary Peruvian photographer’s first U.S. gallery show in seven years. The photos, ranging from landscapes to racy shots of cavorting models, were a departure from Testino’s usual beat of celebrity portraits (other than a few inevitable photos of Kate Moss).

After the opening, Prism, along with hosts Gisele Bündchen and Penélope Cruz (who was a no show), held an exclusive party for Testino at the private estate Fleur de Lys. The opulentVersailles-inspired building located in the hills near Bel Air was turned into a nightclub complete with a lit-up dance floor, pulsing music, and servers passing around Dom Perignon. Famous offspring and art adviser Vito Schabel and Stavros Niarchos were present as well as Naomi Campbell and model Karolina Kurkova.

However, the evening’s award for most awkward interaction went to L.A. MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who approached Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio who, a few moments later, picked up her glass of champagne to move to the other side of the room, an excellent illustration of the art world’s uneasy relationship with fashion and celebrity.

— Yasmine Mohseni, ARTINFO Los Angeles

(Image: Adrien Brody and a bandit at the opening for “Richard Prince: Cowboys.” Via Gagosian/Facebook.)

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