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Going, Going, Gone

Art on the Block—and on Guests' Bodies—at the Whitney's Annual Party

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Christina Ricci and Lubov Azria   
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This year's Whitney Art Party was held in a sprawling Soho loft and split in two: one side for lounging, one for art. Believe it or not, the latter was busier, and both rooms had ample bars, so that wasn't the differentiating factor. It simply was the sort of crowd—Christina Ricci, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Lost co-stars Emilie de Ravin and Maggie Grace, included—that takes a silent auction very seriously. "This brings out my competitive side," said former Sotheby's staffer Dalia Oberlander as she cut a swath through decorative orange trees to check her bids on three works, including a Raymond Pettibon she was competing for against artist Will Cotton. "Friendly-competitive," she added. Prabal Gurung, meanwhile, had come up with an innovative way to score lots. "I told my friends that if they felt some kind of pressure to buy art, they better buy it for me," he said. "And I told them what to buy."

More than a few guests were circulating in BCBG Max Azria, which sponsored for the fourth consecutive year, and a handful of them were wearing one-of-a-kind artist editions. "We sent all the artists blank canvases, white dresses," Lubov Azria explained. Hers, by Liz Magic Laser, was blue and covered in white hand patterns. "It makes me want to touch myself," she mused. "In a very innocent way!"

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