I drove my old Volvo station wagon with my dog Lamonte out to see ArtHamptons and hang out with my friends at the beach this weekend. I was discussing with one of my old pals who lives out here year ’round how much the Hamptons have changed in the last two decades. Originally, it was primarily farm land and a way to escape to the beach from the heat of the city. But as more money started to pour in, more of the people who came for the beauty of the place have started to exit. Artists have always worked out here. Famously, Pollack, DeKooning and further out in Montauk, Warhol, who really played more than worked. A few years ago the Parrish Art Museum moved into a new space and around the same time ArtHamptons arrived. This was my first year and it was sort of what I expected. There’s always a lot of money out here, so to spend a few thousand on some art in an afternoon is comparable to me going to Target for a shopfest. There was some good work, but more mediocre to bad, in my opinion. I ran into painter Peter Reginato, who had some nice work (we are currently in a group show in Chelsea together) but there wasn’t enough other good work to make a story, so famous faces became my theme. You know it’s not a great show when you are taking pics of Mr. Brainwash, the subject of the great documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop. He does his best to be pop and splashy, but with limited success. There were multiple Kate Mosses and Marilyns’ throughout the fair. Celebrity culture was aptly represented by the patron saint of just about any fair these days; Andy Warhol. Richard Pettibon did these tiny, 2 x 2″ portraits years and years ago and they serve as a reminder of how clairvoyant Andy was about pop culture, celebrity and the media and how out of control his Pandora has gotten. When the Kardashians flock here to film their show, you kinda know the party must have been over a while ago.
Right next door to ArtHamptons was the party for the Empire State Pride Agenda where legendary Lady Bunny DJ’d and posed her way through an afternoon of dancing and fun with hundreds of supporters and friends. This event was inclusive to all as the kids (gaybees or otherwise) got in on the action with play area sponsored by Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams. So, needless to say it didn’t get too wild, as it was over by the time the sun went down. But Bunny can bring the old school (and apparently, even the PRE-school) together under the big tent that is the LGBTQ community in 2014.