February 18, 2020
Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, Diplo, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, The Weeknd, and More Attended Frieze Los Angeles
Lorna Simpson, Thelma Golden, and Arcmanoro Niles at the Arcmanoro Niles dinner at the UTA Artist Space. Photo: BFA
Hollywood’s famous inhabitants indulged in their love affair with the fine arts this Valentine’s Day weekend at Frieze Los Angeles. The art fair welcomed guests to Paramount Pictures Studios (and its storied backlot) and expectations ran high. Though numbers at last year’s inaugural event suffered due to rain, this year, under the bright California sun, sales soared and celebrities turned up to shop. From art events in architectural wonders to Champagne-soaked exhibitions and store openings, the entire city dressed for the occasion.
On Monday, days ahead of the doors opening at Frieze proper, private viewings at acclaimed galleries—like L.A.’s Matthew Marks and David Kordansky—commenced. Studio visits granted VIP access to artists including Doug Aitken. And the city’s beloved art institutions—like The Broad and LACMA—prepared for the influx. Endeavor, the agency (co-founded by Hollywood magnate Ari Emmanuel) that now owns Frieze, kicked the week off with a cocktail at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
By Tuesday, two more key destinations in the week initiated their arts programming. The West Hollywood EDITION welcomed guests to breakfast for beloved art and design duo The Haas Brothers and to dinner for celebrated artist and filmmaker Alex Prager. Riley Keough and Sandra Bernhard were among the guests to Prager’s accompanying screening, presented in conjunction with Lehmann Maupin and MatchesFashion. In United Talent Agency’s Beverly Hills UTA Artist Space, artist Shantell Martin, curator Thelma Golden, photographer Lorna Simpson, and actor Jesse Williams celebrated the work of Arcmanoro Niles at the opening of his exhibition “I Guess By Now I’m Supposed To Be A Man: I’m Just Trying To Leave Behind Yesterday.”
On Wednesday, landscape artist Lily Kwong spoke to a crowd at Neuehouse Hollywood, while curator Afrodet Zuri’s “Love, Art & Flowers” exhibition, featuring artist Camilla Engstrom, unfurled at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills. As night approached, the city and its inhabitants began to percolate and art audiences soon sought out celebration. Oliver Peoples took over Bridge House LA, the exquisite residence designed by Dan Brunn Architecture, and welcomed Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, DJ Myles Hendrik, Sophia Stallone and Oliver Peoples Creative Director Giampiero Tagliaferri to a temporary exhibition curated by Maya Mikelsone. Under the moniker of his creative initiative Serving the People, artist Lucien Smith hosted an exhibition and party at Melet Mercantile founder Bob Melet’s vast DTLA space. Nearby, at the sprawling, high-design haven Soho Warehouse, BMW conducted a conversation between Lupe Fiasco and iconic artist Futura. Hours later, UTA took over the rooftop of Soho Warehouse for a party that set the tone for the rest of the week and weekend.
Frieze Los Angeles opened to VIPs on Thursday morning. In jeans and a hoodie, Leonardo DiCaprio roamed the halls of the fair. Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez arrived to purchase works by Genevieve Gaignard, through Vielmetter Los Angeles. Natalie Portman, The Weeknd, Ryan Beatty, Usher, Jeremy Scott, and Travis Scott all strolled through the various booths.
Some of the most famous names in the art world—Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries in London, and Klaus Biesenbach, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA—engaged with those passing through. Art advisor Meredith Darrow facilitated the purchase of a $750,000 James Turrell work for her client Kendall Jenner. Charlize Theron, Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler, Chloe Grace Moretz, Diplo, and James Corden turned up to Frieze and the Paramount backlot.
In the latter, MatchesFashion served Waris Ahluwalia’s House of Waris teas as they launched Birkenstock’s 1774 collection. Alfie Allen and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig joined Jones, Theron, and more for this. Nearby, Maison Ruinart served their Champagne alongside a performance piece by artists David Horvitz, “Air de LA,” which saw the artist distributing glass vials of air to fairgoers who knew the secret code.
At an off-site exhibition within MILK Los Angeles, Louis Vuitton presented their Objets Nomades collection to an enviable list of artists, designers, and filmmakers. Fragrance brand Byredo opened their L.A. flagship on Melrose and many familiar faces participated, including Kate Bosworth, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jason Statham, Alex Israel, and 070 Shake. The night had only just begun. At the Felix air fair VIP opening night party, at the Hollywood Roosevelt, Jon Hamm made a surprise appearance. Ganni hosted a dinner at Manuela, the chic dining establishment at Hauser & Wirth—one table away from Futura and his BMW crew. Art star Chloe Wise attended the Tom of Finland opening at Neuehouse and performance art troupe House of Yes opened at the WeHo EDITION.
DiCaprio, Camila Morrone, and Maria Sharipova appeared at the San Vicente Bungalows for Pace Gallery and Kayne Griffin Corcoran’s party for James Turrell and his Roden Crater Project. Grimes DJ’d the outdoor soirée into the night. It was André Balazs’s Chateau Marmont that threw the centerpiece celebration of Frieze Los Angeles. The hotel’s party, in conjunction with London’s acclaimed White Cube gallery, brought together hundreds of people in an unprecedented move. Every public space—from poolside to the lobby—filled with the likes of Beck, Jamie xx, Johnny Knoxville, Griffin Dunne, Caitriona Balfe, Lykke Li, Michèle Lamy, Rupert Sanders, Stephen Dorff, and more. Artists and gallerists mingled with celebrities and socialites as the energy escalated into the night.
Friday began as if Thursday had not happened, with eager art enthusiasts back at the fairs for art all day—which included stops at Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) and SPRING/BREAK Art Show. After all the art fatigue, hours later, three design-driven events invited guests to celebrate Valentine’s Day under extraordinary circumstances. The Future Perfect’s third Casa Perfect outpost in L.A. brought chic attendees to the Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills. There, everyone caught the sunset from an architectural masterpiece, populated with contemporary art and design works.
Across town, powerhouse gallerists Jeffrey Deitch and Emmanuel Perrotin, along with creative director Richard Christiansen, luxury hospitality group Belmond and Ruinart champagne, invited guests to Flamingo Estate—a landmark home amidst lavish gardens, all renovated by Christiansen’s Chandelier Creative. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Neuehouse hosted Frieze Music, which featured performances by Caroline Polachek and Moses Sumney. Once again, the art world went hard.
For anyone left with an art appetite, the weekend provided more opportunities to visit L.A. museums (like the MOCA, which offers free admission thanks to the generosity of the museum’s President Carolyn Powers) catch a dedicated brunch, like the one hosted by global art membership program The Cultivist. By night, Kesha joined Susanne Bartsch’s bacchanal at the Edition and Grimes closed out the weekend at the event Matte Presents: Rhondavous. And now it’s time for the city to take a long exhale, until next year, Frieze!