“Well this is the cutest photo I’ve ever seen — they’re all wearing Max Mara,” gushed a particularly tickled gallery-goer Thursday evening, looking on as the likes of Sarah Hoover, Zoe Buckman and Genevieve Jones posed for a photo. Who knew that a plethora of neutral tones was all it took to elicit such high marks?
The gathering was for the 22nd annual Artwalk, thrown this year with Max Mara, in benefit of the Coalition for the Homeless. Hilary Rhoda, John Targon, and the above Max Mara-clad ladies browsed a silent auction selection of pieces like a Patrick McMullan photo of Warhol, Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring, and a Max Mara double-breasted wool cashmere camel coat, before settling in for the live auction.
“Sorry, this bar is closed until after the silent auction,” a wine-seeking patron was told, to her dismay. Restricting drinks at an auction — now there’s a new approach.
“I don’t come every year, but I’m here because my friend is involved,” said Patricia Lansing, who adding she had her eye on several pieces. “I’m bidding on the license plate over that that says ‘out of time,’ from California, and the Carter Smith, and I really want the John Lennon of New York City, just because, why not?”
If all went according to plan, her art collection would certainly be growing by the evening’s close. “I’d like to be a bigger [art collector] but sure, why not — maybe after tonight,” Lansing said. “My husband actually is. He really has a large spectrum. He’s collected since he was in his twenties. He’s really got across the board.”
“I’ve donated for three years,” said Buckman, whose 2016 piece “Pearly White” hung on the wall nearby. “There’re not as many art benefits that benefit a cause outside of the art world, and I love to support the arts organizations, but this one in particular really pulls at my heartstrings. I mix it up each year [for her donation], so this year I went with photography.”
As for what she had her eye on? “You know what, I haven’t really looked,” she said — she’d been rather detained throughout the evening chatting up potential donors.
“Art has a central focus within our family, because of a personal passion, as some friends of mine know,” said Maria Giulia Prezioso Maramotti, granddaughter of the Max Mara founder Achille Maramotti. “And so it is especially meaningful for me tonight to be here to continue our commitment to supporting the arts in a purposeful way that benefits the community.