ON SATURDAY, ACE HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN L.A. WELCOMED ARTISTS, CELEBRITIES AND COLLECTORS TO SUPPORT REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS UNDER THE INTRIGUING NAME OF SEXY BEAST, "A GALA EVENING OF ART AUCTION AND PERFORMANCE, WITH ALL PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT PLANNED PARENTHOOD LOS ANGELES
Sexy Beast celebrates the art world’s power to effect positive change, touch people’s lives, and create value far beyond commercial gain. It also celebrates the different ways we express humanity”.
The evening opened with choreographies by award-winning dance guru Ryan Heffington, with costumes by Mindy LeBrock and an impressive set design by Adrian Gilliland in collaboration with artist Nolan Hendrickson.
Our MC, Jack Black, awarded comedienne and actress Jenny Slate with the first Sexy Beast Award for her performance in the movie Obvious Child. Holding her award designed by L.A. artist Samara Golden, Slate quipped, “let me bring Jack Black back on the stage. ‘Sup dog. You were telling me earlier tonight you were a regular in PPLA back in the day”, to which he replied “I used to get my rubbers there.” Fist bump.
Sue Dunlap, President and C.E.O. of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, best summarized Sexy Beast with, “we’re extremely pleased and honored to be the beneficiary of the very first Sexy Beast event. Sexy Beast’s founders and co-chairs are Mieke Marple and Davida Nemeroff, owners of Night Gallery. Their vision for Sexy Beast is to create a new outlet for the energy and passions of the artist and philanthropy community. Mieka and Davida wanted to make a statement, create something new, outside the sometimes limiting parameters of the commercial world. And so, SEXY BEAST was imagined, as a fundraising event and a celebration of artistic AND human expression of all varieties, in all walks of life”.
Throughout the evening, that was co-produced by Eliah Perona, Jamie Cherry and Jessica Trent, the words “sexy”, “art” and “important” were used with abandon. Although I thought I had a clear idea of the meaning of “important”, I found myself googling it while waiting for my car at valet.
1. Strongly affecting the course of events or the nature of things; significant:
With so many causes in the world to chose from, I’ve often wondered what are the motives behind someone supporting one cause over another. The answer to that question tends to simply explain the purpose of the cause and it’s usually a window into a person’s belief system. I was curious to know what made Sexy Beast significant to some of the names behind the evening.
For RedMilk, I asked one question:
Why is it important to you to support Sexy Beast?
Director of the Centre Pompidou Foundation, former Sotheby’s executive, and Sexy Beast sexy auctioneer:
“It’s critical to give people the tools and opportunities they need to make their own best decisions and to allow them to protect themselves and those they love.”
Artist, Writer, Filmmaker:
“My first job at age 13 was in fact, working for Planned Parenthood. First, in Los Angeles at the Santa Monica clinic educating teenagers my own age about sexually transmitted diseases and sex education; and later, when I moved to New York to attend art school I worked under Alexander Sanger (Margaret’s grandson) on fundraising, outreach and helping to establish a video library. Sex education and supporting a woman’s right to reproductive health care are perhaps the causes I feel most strongly about. I was so glad to support Sexy Beast and see Planned Parenthood reach a new generation of women and men who feel strongly about these issues too. As the mid-term elections approach, it is more important than ever to raise our voices on behalf of this incredible organization.”
Actor, Musician, Comedian, Producer, Writer:
“Sexy Beast is no mere fundraiser. No. It is quite possible the greatest fundraiser in the history of the planet. We’re using the talents and generosity of the sexy, sexy arts community to feed THE BEAST – Planned Parenthood LA. Yeah. It’s a beast. Nineteen health centers, answering two thousand phone calls a day from people needing reproductive health services. They see one-hundred forty- thousand men, women and teens who need health services and sexual health information.”
Performer, Choreographer, Designer, Promoter and Dance Guru:
“I was honored when the ladies of Night Gallery reached out about participating in Sexy Beast. It’s a pleasure for me to be able to use my art to assist a institution that supports the right for a woman to choose a better life for herself, for teens to have assistance in being sexually responsible and simply supporting people – no matter what. It simply comes down to allowing people to have choices without condemning anyone in the process. As we know – life can be challenging at any stage and to be able to assist others through any means is a goal.”
Sexy Beast sold over $568,000 during the art auctions, including silent, live, and online.
Live and silent auction features work by:
Lisa Anne Auerbach, Judith Bernstein, Math Bass, Sebastian Black, Andrea Bowers, Matthew Brandt, John Connor, Matt Connors, Mira Dancy, Sam Durant, Sam Falls, Ryan Foerster, Jen Guidi, Karl Haendel, Ryan Heffington, Alex Hubbard, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Sean Kennedy, Barbara Kruger, Mimi Lauter, Calvin Marcus, Dianna Molzan, Sam Moyer, Alex Olson, Laura Owens, Jon Pestoni, Kour Pour, Joe Reihsen, Ed Ruscha, Kaari Upson, Mary Weatherford, Pae White, Christopher Williams, and Jonas Wood.
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