NEW KDHamptons Party Pix: The Watermill Center Presents Tabula Rasa at Annual Summer Benefit


Graciela Saca photo by Chloe Bellemere

On Saturday, July 27 2019 The Watermill Center proudly presented TABULA RASA: The 26th Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction, where over 1,000 guests experienced an artistic world that required them to bring their own impressions of conceptual art to the table.

What’s your take on the theme ‘Tabula Rasa?’

Daniel Fishkin + Cleek Shrey + Ron Shalom photo by Laura Brichta

The Watermill Center serves a global community as a laboratory for the arts and humanities; a space to incubate, collaborate and create. The Watermill Center’s Summer Program brought together over 80 artists from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States of America. All proceeds from the event benefit The Watermill Center’s Year-Round Artist Residency and Education Programs. Conceived by Founder and Artistic Director Robert Wilson, Tabula Rasa hosted art from more than 100 artists representing a wide range of artistic disciplines in honor of philanthropist Katharine Rayner and artist Carrie Mae Weems.

Kelli Delaney

Di Mondo + Polina Proshkina by Neil Rasmus

Guests explored the lush grounds of Watermill taking in performances and works curated by Noah Khoshbin and Ivan Cheng. Specialty cocktails courtesy of Diageo, illycaffè and Peroni Nastro Azzurro and refreshments by Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water, S.Pellegrino Natural Mineral Water,and Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water were served throughout the evening as guests enjoyed the vibrant art installations and performances. Over 500 guests made their way into the dinner tent with an installation and performance by Bianca Casady of Coco Rosie and Ira Anufrieva.

Bianca Casady of CocoRosie with Irina Anufrieva

The Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit’s enraptured forest unites art, performance, music, theatre, design, architecture and fashion. Interspersed were nude bodies wrapped with cellophane, haunting images that perhaps suggested birthing. There was a man with a gas mask crouched on sand in a small aquarium, and and a performance by Dorothy and the Tin Man. Guests were invited to experience the conceptual art and discuss what it means to them, as well as what the artists may have intended to say.Humberto Diaz | photos by Maria Baranova Suzuki

The evening’s silent auction featured works by Anish Kapoor, Pope.L, Liz Glynn, Tomashi Jackson, Sam Falls, Tara Lewis, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Rebecca Ward, Renee Cox, Hadieh Shafie, and Alison Elizabeth Taylor, among others. The live auction was led by Simon de Pury, and included works from Robert Longo, Christopher Makos, Katherine Bernhardt, Thomas Struth, Carrie Mae Weems, and a Robert Wilson video work, in addition to a commissioned portrait by Michael Dweck. Notably, The Center and Weems donated a portion of the sale of her work, Change Requires 2020 Vision, to the Center for Refugee Services. The dinner closed with Helga Davis’s touching rendition of Perfect Day by the late Lou Reed, accompanied Taylor Levine on electric guitar. Kitty Cash DJed the After Party and the dance floor quickly flooded with guests as illy caffè provided a specialty cold brew Negroni with Tanqueray No. 10 to close the vibrant evening.

Helga Davis

Generous support has been provided by presenting sponsor high jewelry maison Van Cleef & Arpels and supporting sponsors Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water, Diageo, illycaffè, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, S.Pellegrino Natural Mineral Water, Peroni Nastro Azzuro, and Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

Nicole Nadeau + Victoria de Lesseps +Luanne de Lesseps Fazeel Khan, Brett Robinson, Kevin Nee, AlexYung JakeCameron Welch + Josh Reames by Neil Rasmus
Bill Powers+Jacquelyn Jablonski Julia Blanchard, Tripoli Patternson+Emma Blanchard

Gillian Walsh | photo by Maria Baranova SuzukiJohn Margaritis with Robert Wilson Performance photos by Ryan Kobane

Brian “HallowDreamz” Henry and Miss Prissy

Lance De Los Reyes | photo by Maria Baranova Suzuki.Masha Kechaeva | photo by Maria Baranova Suzuki

Zachary Weiss and Kelli Delaney

Brian Belott | photo by BFA-Neil Rasmus.jpg

—by Willa O’Connor