2010 May 17

The Awesome Auction Commotion

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Mary Kate Olsen, Mary Alice Stephenson, and Ashley Olsen Mary Kate Olsen, Mary Alice Stephenson, and Ashley Olsen
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(NEW YORK) If you happened to have the energy to go out Friday night, you probably returned home with a new piece of art…or three. That’s because two great auction events capped the somewhat listless week in terms of parties, and plenty of Dan Colens and Aaron Youngs were up for bid. Most revelers made stopped by Free Arts NYC’s 12th Annual Art Auction held Saatchi and Saatchi (and presented by Vanity Fair and David Yurman).  The space was smaller this year, but so were this year’s co-hosts (the tiny but popular Olsen twins). “This event is usually held a little later in the calendar,” said of the chairs, Mary Alice Stephenson. “We’ve had weeks to put it together and yet we’re completely sold out, which feel great.”

Donna D'Cruz provided the music and guests like Jason Wu, Sean Avery, Hilary Rhoda, Rachel Roy, Gilles Mendel, and Casey Fremont were busy navigating the silent auction. “I’m totally clueless of what art I should be buying,” quipped John Varvatos. “This is where my much wiser wife comes in.” Rhoda made a pit stop at the event right before flying to Paris for a shoot and making plans for the summer. “I can’t wait until I go to Hamptons and spend some time in my summer home,” she smiled. “I’ll finally have time to fully practice my tennis forehand.”

Amy Sacco joined the Olsens for the very entertaining auction presided over Simon de Pury, who hawked off works by Alex Katz, Ross Bleckner, and Christopher Wool with alarming ease. But those pieces were eventually sold, mostly in for five-digit sums.

Those with smaller budgets made their way to The Standard. Along with the Riverkeeper foundation, the hotel co-hosted the launch of the DBA 98 pen. The brand-new company unveiled their stylo with a very solid list of names (think Mick Jagger, Jenny Holzer, the Toledos, Terrence Koh and many others) and the boldfaces focused on their doodles, which were then framed and offered for silent auction. “This was amazing, but a little bit nerve-wracking,” said one the company’s partners, Leon Ransmeier.  “On Monday, we only had about six of these back but the final line-up turned out to be fantastic.”

The likes of Holzer, Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, Max Osterweis, Jennifer Missoni, and Salman Rushdie all bid on the enticing pieces, while Brooke Geahan encouraged the generosity. Some bid $600 for a Dan Colen, while others held back---after all, some of the A-list artwork will be auctioned off online starting Wednesday.

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