November 12, 2012

The 12th Annual RxArt Party at Milk Studios

Last night, Milk Gallery played host to the 12th Annual RxArt Party, honoring Dan Colen and his installation for Brooklyn's Kings County Hospital Pediatrics. RxArt, where Interview's own Christopher Bollen and Alex Gartenfeld serve on the benefit committee, has previously collaborated with artists such as Jeff Koons, Terry Richardson, Ryan McGinley, and Rob Pruitt. It is a non-profit organization devoted to placing original fine art in patient, procedure, and examination rooms of healthcare facilities, in order to promote healing and inspire hope in patients, families, and staff.

Colen, whose installation of giant M&Ms will be featured in Kings County's pediatric waiting rooms, has a special history with the installation site.  "My family is from Brooklyn, my sister worked at the hospital, actually, did a residency at Kings County, and my grandparents lived close to it for a long time. It just seemed like a really good project," Colen told Interview. "A lot of people are needy for a nicer, more optimistic environment, and I happened to be working on these M&M drawings, which I thought kids could relate to immediately."

With DJ Chrissie Miller, Tennessee Thomas, Kilo Kish, and DJ Kitty-Cash on the turntables and plenty of hors d'oeuvres, Patrón tequila cocktails, and Nicolas Feuillatte champagne making the rounds, guests were able to participate in a silent auction and bid on works by Rita Ackermann, Cass Bird, Richard Kern, Marilyn Minter, Inez & Vinoodh, Terry Richardson, Aurel Schmidt, and Lawrence Weiner. A live auction followed later in the evening, where works by Colen, Sam Durant, KAWS, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Jose Parlá were up for grabs, presided over by Paddle8's Alexander Gilkes and CK Swett, from Phillips de Pury. The entire auction raised over $250,000, with Colen's Untitled fetching for the highest price, and Marilyn Minter's Ball Spitter leading the silent auction.

Those in attendance included RxArt's Founder and Executive Director Diane Brown, Jen Brill, Dr. Frederic Brandt, Derek Blasberg, Lazaro Hernandez, Leigh Lezark, Michelle Harper, Jenny Shimizu, Will Cotton, KAWS, Glenn O'Brien, Jeanette Hayes, Arizona Muse, and Nate Lowman.

In addition to raising funds for ongoing art projects in healthcare facilities, this year, RxArt is partnering with the Pollck-Krasner Foundation in donating a percentage of last night's auction proceeds to aid artists who, in the light of the damage from Hurricane Sandy, have lost so much these past few weeks.

To learn more about RxArt, visit their website. -Colleen Kelsey

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