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Monday, April 16, 2007

Portraits and Polaroids

Over the years, I have planned many celebrity parties and I'll admit that I have been starstruck on a few occasions. But, who I consider to be my biggest celebrity sighting may surprise you - it's not a Hollywood actor or music superstar. I'd have to say it's American painter and printmaker, Chuck Close.

Ok, to be fair
, Harrison Ford is a close second.

Art has always had a positive influence in my life and I wanted to find a way to share that with others. A few years ago, I starting working with Free Arts NYC, a non-profit organization that brings the healing power of the arts into the lives of abused and at-risk children and their families.

On April 23rd, Free Arts NYC will host their 8th Annual Art Auction Benefit chaired by Amy Sacco (Bungalow 8 & Bette) and Mary Alice Stephenson (fashion editor & style correspondent). Avid art collectors never miss this event and this year is no exception with a live auction of works by Jeremy Blake, Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Barbara Kruger, Tom Sachs among others. The silent auction features an equally stellar list of artists including Hope Atherton, Ross Bleckner, Todd Eberle, Nan Goldin, Hugo Guinness, Jack Pierson, Patrick McMullan and Ben Watts just to name a few.

Portraits and Polaroids, sponsored by Dior and Vanity Fair, will be held at the Milk Gallery (450 West 15th Street) from 6-9PM. This year Scarlett Johansson and Liv Tyler are honorary chairs. Tickets can be purchased online at Free Arts NYC or by phone at 212-974-9092.

The event is a great opportunity to buy original work (estimated values range from $500 - $70,000) from some of the most recognized artists in the world while supporting a great cause.

Here are two of the outstanding pieces that will be available at auction (preview all lots):

Self Portrait Quad by Chuck Close (shown above);

Dope & Guns Party Candidate by Jeremy Blake (shown below).

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