Guggenheim Young Collectors Council Party | A Futuristic Fête

An utopic evening of dancing, tunes, and digital paradise

Written by

Annabel Keenan

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Photographed by Jason Lowrie

New York’s Guggenheim Museum hosted its annual Young Collectors Council (YCC) Party on Wednesday, May 24 with music, dancing, and sartorial flairs to fit the “future floral” dress code. As the main celebration for the YCC, a group of professionals ages 21 to 40, funds raised from the event benefit the museum and the YCC Art Fund that supports emerging and established contemporary artists, as well as the museum’s collection, exhibitions, and education initiatives. The party began with an intimate, seated dinner in The Wright for the YCC, event co-chairs, host committee members, and artists whose work is represented in the Guggenheim collection through acquisitions of the YCC Art Fund. Hundreds of guests joined after dinner, filling the museum’s iconic rotunda.

“Museums offer a platform to engage with diverse perspectives, challenge preconceived notions and foster critical thinking skills,” YCC Co-Chair Danny Mapes tells Flaunt. “Getting involved allows young professionals to gain insight into social, cultural and political issues, expand their creativity, and develop a broader understanding of the world.”

Guests enjoyed DJ sets, dancing, and an open bar and celebrated Stephanie Dinkins, the first recipient of the groundbreaking LG Guggenheim Award. A five-year, multifaceted collaboration, the initiative honors and promotes artists who are working at the intersection of art and technology. Toasting Dinkins were Naomi Beckwith, Guggenheim Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator; Chulho Huh, Vice President of LG Electronics US; and actor Lee Jung-jae. Invitees were also invited to explore the LG OLED lounge to learn more about the intersection of art and technology.

Reflecting the tech celebrations of the evening, several figures at the fore of art and technology were in attendance, including: Charlie Jarvis, co-founder of Fairchain, the platform that creates blockchain-based proof of authenticity for artists to track their art and continue to benefit from sales; Audrey Ou, cofounder of the NFT platform TRLab; and Jordan Huelskamp, founder of Salon, the first decentralized art fund for the physical, contemporary art market.

“The confluence of art and next-generation technology is getting juicier every day,” Huelskamp told Flaunt. “With the art world's online transition now for the most part behind us, technological frontiers like materials sciences, artificial intelligence, and big data are making it possible for artists and collectors to further explore and define the meaning of art in the post-Internet age.”

Also in attendance were Anthony Akinbola, Manal Al Dowayan, Peter Boyce II, Vittorio Calabrese, Emira D’spain, Jonathan Gardenhire, Hannah Gottlieb-Graham, Caleb Hahne Quintana, Neil Hamamoto, Danielle Hankin, Alexander Hankin, Steffani Jemison, Elisabeth Johs, Polina Proshkina, and Tariku Shiferaw. 

The futuristic dress code of the night was fitting for the utopic, digital installation designed by artist and musician Farah Al Qasimi specifically for the event. Simultaneously dark, ethereal, and beautiful, Al Qasimi’s artificial paradise drew inspiration from science fiction films, such as The Fifth Element and Blade Runner. The futuristic designs were displayed on LG OLED TVs. 

“We invited Farah Al Qasimi to work with us on this year’s YCC Party because her art encapsulates so many of the ideas that the council, and the museum more broadly, wants to explore in our artistic program,” Nat Trotman, Curator, Performance and Media tells Flaunt. “In particular, we are excited by the way Farah uses photography and video to critically assess contemporary society—especially the ways that technology informs and transforms our understanding of identity—while remaining firmly and joyously rooted in human experiences of touch, play, and fantasy.”

Al Qasimi’s digital installation set the tone for the night with neon hues washing over the white walls, flashing between waves, supernatural landscapes, LED fake flowers, and digital signage. The artist, in attendance for the celebration, shared the influence her futuristic design: “I grew up on science fiction novels and movies,” she said. “As someone coming of age in a rapidly changing post-oil country, I felt both excited and unsettled by these grandeur visions of a futuristic metropolis. I wanted to bring some of that glamor and unease to the rotunda, which is immediately recognizable. It feels like a vision of the future that is grounded very much in the early 20th century. I took advantage of its form to give you the impression that you're in a kaleidoscopic spiral.”

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Guggenheim, Young Collectors Council