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Out With Bob Colacello

The New York Academy of Art honors the writer at its annual Tribeca Ball

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Bob Colacello and Jessica Hart   
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Last night at the New York Academy of Art's Tribeca Ball, it wasn't the worst time to be a starving artist: Deep-pocketed buyers meandered through students' studios, the wine and beer was flowing, and the canapés came courtesy of decorated chef Daniel Boulud. With an accordionist, a portraitist, and at least one tableau vivant among the cocktail diversions, the event upheld its reputation as one of the most enjoyable (not to mention affordable) ways to shop for paintings and sculptures in New York.

"There was a palm reader here tonight, but I did not get my palm read," Parker Posey reported. "I've been absorbed in art." Somehow, the actress did not get absorbed in the people-watching. Strange, because it was on a different level this year. Where else do the paths of Joan Rivers and Chelsea Handler, Jessica Hart and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons cross? Credit the evening's honoree for that mix, said the school's president, David Kratz. "Bob Colacello's about the most popular person in New York."

John Currin, who served as event co-chair with his wife, Rachel Feinstein, backed the claim up. "He's the best one to talk to at any party." Colacello has authored books on The Factory and the Reagans and served as the original editor of Andy Warhol's Interview—and has somehow managed to stay at the center of a lot of things despite waiting until the last year or so to start using e-mail.

Sparkling throughout the venue were pieces of lucky-charm-inspired haute joaillerie from Van Cleef & Arpels, the evening's sponsor. But it had taken more than luck to get rival gallerists such as Larry Gagosian and William Acquavella into the same dining room. Calling those two out in his acceptance speech, Colacello joked that the education he got at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service has always served him well. "Thank God I did study diplomacy."

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