By JULIA B. CHAN
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Better than: Your local high school's Spring Fling.
If revelers at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's annual Modern Ball wanted to make it rain Wednesday, they got their wish both figuratively and literally.
Amid a moderate downpour, the museum's largest gala fundraiser was held last night. The event featured gourmet food stations, a live auction and dance-party instigators including Chromeo and Poolside.
Party people glided in and out through a silver-beaded curtain decoratively draped over the entrance to the MoMA. Upon walking into the soaring, five-story Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Atrium, a photo area provided by event sponsors such as Giorgio Armani and Wells Fargo greeted well-dressed guests.
A couple feet ahead in the main entry hall, San Francisco-based artist Jim Campbell's LED light installation "Exploded Views" burst into sight, twinkling above heads as the expanse of the atrium came into full view.
Lines for the coat check, makeshift bars, and tables piled with bite-sized eats snaked from the walls toward the center of the room, dissolving into a massive puddle of dancing suits and cocktail dresses.
The affair was themed with Pablo Picasso in mind -- a nod to the artist's impact on modernism in the art world.
To the right of the atrium, The Gala Dinner hosted a five-star meal for such luminaries as Google's Marissa Mayer and author Danielle Steel. A live auction during dinner raised tens of thousands of dollars with Doug Aitken's work 1968 (black) and chic vacation packages on the block. Tables lit with a cool hue and sky-colored lighting hinted at Picasso's Blue Period.
To the left of the atrium, The Supper Club awaited. Cube-shaped furniture littered the large lounge area while an elaborate buffet spread around the room's perimeter. A small stage and dance floor were the center of activity as guests participated in progressively hilarious antics the more free Patron they drank. Poolside soft-rocked the crowd to its feet as the band played its signature blend of groovy and uptempo dance music. DJ CAMS picked up the beat and played classic and remixed jams for the VIPs.
Back in the main room, The Post-Modern Party saw DJ Vin Sol warm up the masses for Montreal's electro-funky twosome Chromeo.
The synth poppers proceeded to DJ an almost two-hour set to end the museum's biggest night. Enthusiastic patrons danced, jumped in the air, and waved their hands as Chromeo dropped tried-and-true party numbers such as Cameo's "Candy," Patrice Rushen's "Forget Me Nots" and Bingo Players' "Cry Just a Little." For fans of the group, Chromeo also threw their singles "Bonafied Lovin'" and "Fancy Footwork" into the mix. The duo closed out the night with a hip-hop set highlighting Bay Area artists.
By 11:50 p.m., the evening of midweek partying seemed to have taken its toll on the bash. E-40's "Tell Me When to Go" was an appropriate cue to leave, and the line of taxis waiting outside was a welcome sight to many.