The New York Party Set Rallies Around the Up-and-Coming Portrait Artist
Sandro Kopp paints his portraits differently: namely, via Skype from Scotland. And perhaps for that reason, his New York friends and famous sitters (often one and the same) have been overjoyed to have the 33-year-old artist in town—although it doesn't hurt, of course, that his plus-one is Tilda Swinton. "It's been, like, Sandro week. I think all of his friends have been throwing him parties," David Maupin said on Saturday night, where his gallery, Lehmann Maupin, hosted a dinner in celebration of Kopp's new exhibition, There You Are, at its Chrystie Street space.
"I think part of it is an extension of his charm and his personality and being an artist—to do this type of work, you have to kind of relate and open up some kind of conversation with your subject," Maupin mused, as Michael Stipe (who'd thrown Kopp a dinner party of his own the night before) arrived with gold, letter-shaped balloons that spelled out K-O-P-P. Meanwhile, Frances McDormand was taking her co-hosting duties seriously: "I'm the hostess; do what I say," the actress said, cutting a swath through the cocktail area. "We're moving to the back room. My name's Fran."
Singer-songwriter Patrick Wolf had flown in from London and serenaded dinner guests before they took their seats underneath enormous rice paper lanterns. (The proceedings were sponsored by Belvedere, Pomellato, and Istanbul '74, the Turkish culture-importing outfit behind the annual Istancool festival.) Kopp, looking very much the man of the hour in a velvet YSL dinner jacket, declared himself not just over the moon—"I'm over Mars," he said. As McDormand started packing up kale salad for the road, the crowd headed off to the after-party at Pulqueria. The balloons didn't make the trip, but Kopp and Swinton did, and stayed until 2 a.m.—which makes the actress' luminous appearance at the SAG Awards in L.A. the following evening all the more remarkable.