El Museo Gala 2016: A Night of Art and Fashion with Latin Flavor
We are currently in the midst of the art gala season sweeping New York City, but no event has shone brighter than the annual El Museo Gala which was held at The Plaza Hotel on May 12, 2016. El Museo del Barrio, an institution historically known for celebrating and representing art from the Latin American disapora, honored three individuals who have made meaningful contributions to the arts, while also setting the stage for their upcoming exhibit 'Future, Funk, Fashion', showcasing the stellar career of the late Puerto-Rican fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez.
The honorees of this stylish occasion included James Gager of MAC Cosmetics and artist/designer duo Ruben and Isabel Toledo, who were feted with El Museo's Corporate Excellence in the Arts Award and Excellence in the Arts Award, respectively. Former supermodel Pat Cleveland (and one of Antonio's Girls) who presented Gager with the accolade, also expressed her gratitude for Lopez having launched her career over four decades ago. Actress Debi Mazar introduced her longtime friends the Toledos and bestowed them with their well-deserved win.
The starry evening which entailed a cocktail reception and dinner was capped off by an invigorating performance by the legendary House of Xtravaganza, the mostly Latino and activist-driven voguing collective. A heady '80s, disco-infused, and utterly chic afterparty ( the first ever for the museum) ensued afterwards. The event's theme drew upon Lopez' vibrant visual aesthetic and featured Studio 54 dance music direct from his private collection. All of the action was artfully documented by Maria Brito, an art and design influencer who took over the museum's Instagram account that day. Truly a night of art and style where artists, curators, philanthropists, celebrities, and creatives bonded for the greater good of Latin American art.
Notable guests included: museum benefactor Tony Bechara, fashion designers Narciso Rodriguez ( also a gala co-chair), Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Angel Sanchez, Maria Cornejo, shoe designer Edmundo Castillo, architect Peter Marino, performance artist Joey Arias, artists Angel Otero, Ike Ude, Andres Serrano, Teresita Fernandez, photographer Edward Mapplethorpe, actress Debi Mazar, gallerist Suzanne Geiss, fashion publicists and authors Roger and Mauricio Padilha, fashion editor Candy Pratts-Price, nightlife entrepreneur Omar Hernandez, Maxim publisher Dan Ragone, and many others.