Mary Boone's 25th anniversary tribute to her longtime sidekick, the very dapper Ron Warren, in Chelsea Saturday night did not disappoint. Shall we commence with the show or the party?
OK, the party. Your scribe arrived at Bottino to find Eric Fischl dutifully waiting at the bar. Soon, Barbara Kruger, Whitney curator Donna DeSalvo and Linda Yablonsky, sporting a becoming Jennifer Aniston shag hairdo, had inexplicably surrounded Keith Sonnier, who staked out the head of the main table. Yablonsky reported that she would be shooting an episode of Delusional Downtown Divas, the Index Magazine online soap opera, next week.
Collector Andy Hall greeted Mary Boone, who was sporting a skintight leopard print ensemble, as Boone quickly diverted David Salle, complete with gray goatee, to a side table. Fuzz was in: both Klaus Kertess and Ross Bleckner are sporting dark, fluffy hairdos reminiscent of the Fonz. Will Cotton sauntered in, as everybody blabbed about the photorealist portrait of Ron Warren, with a crown of vanilla Carvel cones, which Cotton had produced for the show. Chie Fueki sparkled in black-and-white dot ensemble. Her painting of Mr. Warren multitasking, priced at a reasonable $25,000, is perhaps the show’s most faithful encomium to Ron's essentiality.
Contrast it to Malcolm Morley's portrait of a hockey goalie or Julian Schnabel's 1980s torso of St. Sebastian, which Mary has priced at $3 million, or $6 million less than the painting hanging next to it of a black man on an orange field by Jean-Michel Basquiat. The true prize is the dapper full-frontal fashion take of Warren produced by the aforementioned Fischl, at a reasonable $450,000. With his shrewd real estate sense, Ron could easily forego his yearly trip to Armani and buy it himself. But what would be the fun in that? Better to let Mary Boone sweat the sale and forward Ron his commission in Bermuda!
"A Tribute to Ron Warren," Sept. 12-Oct. 24, 2009, at Mary Boone Gallery, 541 West 24th Street, New York, N.Y. 10011.
CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).