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Watermill Center ’Paradiso’ Was Indeed Paradise By Moonlight

Originally Posted: July 23, 2010

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The 17th Annual Watermill Summer Benefit "Paradiso" was held on Saturday, drawing supporters from all cultural and artistic arenas. (Eileen Casey)

Water Mill - The 17th Annual Watermill Summer Benefit "Paradiso" once again merged the worlds of theater, art, fashion, design and society. Benefit artists and Watermill residents from over 20 different countries created six acres of installations and performances to interpret this year's theme - bringing guests closer to paradise. The event rasied a stunning $1.4 million for The Watermill Center.

Lisa Anaston, Co-Chair of the event with Paul Judelson.

Beginning with a dress code indicated as "heavenly" "Paradiso" certainly inspired guests to don their wings and take flight into the magical and creative festival of the arts and performance all to benefit Watermill and it's mission to provide a unique environment for young and emerging artists to explore new ideas and foster their career development, and for the Center's year-round artist residency and education programs.

Guests were greeted by a snow monkey, watched dancers suspended from trees in pods, walked through a 30' foot fun house, watched a human tornado machine in the middle of the silent auction and gazed at a 25' flying neon unicorn. Many of the installations will be on view again on August 8 for Watermill's annual community day.

With cocktails provided by Bacardi, a silent auction, performances, art installations, dinner, dancing with DJ Touch of Class, and a live auction hosted by auctioneer Simon de Pury, Chairman, Phillips de Pury & Company in collaboration with Sharon Stone, there was not one area of the substantial grounds that did not provide a feast for the senses.

Guests at the event included Stone, Alec Baldwin, Miranda Richardson, Emily Mortimer, Marisa Berenson, Calvin Klein, Rufus Wainwright, Roger Waters, Alan Cumming, Terence Koh, Mike Fury, Zaldy, Lisa Perry, Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney, Lisa Anastos, Fern Mallis, Eric Ripert, Tatiana and Campion Platt, Nicole Miller, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Andre Balazs, James Frey, and many more.

This year's silent and live auction included over 70 lots from emerging and established artists, including Marina Abramovic, David Adamo, Carol Bove, Rosson Crow, Martin Eder, Tim Eitel, Shepard Fairey, Tierney Gearon, Pierre Huyghe, Anselm Kiefer, Annie Leibovitz, Otto Piene, Pipilotti Rist, Erik Schmidt, Taryn Simon, Ena Swansea, Spencer Tunick, Michael Craig-Martin, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Donald Judd, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Anselm Kiefer, Philippe Perrin, Rufus Wainwright, and Robert Wilson.

Marisa Berenson and Joseph Fichera.

"Paradiso" featured six acres of installations and performances from a wide range of U.S. and international artists that interpreted the theme of paradise, including Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (US/UK); Yochai Matos (Israel),Janosch Parker (Germany), Al Stark (Australia), Andrey Bartenev (Russia), Marie Eve Nadeau (Canada), Sofia Medici (Argentina), Shige Moriya (Japan/U.S.), Ximena Garnica (Colombia/U.S.), Sarawut Chutiwongpeti (Thailand), Carlos Soto (U.S.), Charles Chemin (France), Rebecca Delange (Australia), Huang Hsin-Yu, Jia Jen Lin, Chen Chih-Chieh, Tzeng Yi-Hsin, and Kuo Chao Yin (all of Taiwan).

Honorary Chairs for the event included Marina Abramovic, Jane Adams, Pedro Almodóvar, Laurie Anderson, Bernard Arnault, Alec Baldwin, David Bowie & Iman, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Helena Christensen, Chuck Close, Bob Colacello, Alan Cumming, Willem Dafoe, Christophe de Menil, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Marianne Faithfull, Jonathan Safran Foer & Nicole Krauss, Frank Gehry, Philip Glass, Nan Goldin, Zaha Hadid, H.R.H. Princess Caroline of Hanover, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Isabelle Huppert, Bianca Jagger, Norah Jones, Donna Karan, Harvey Keitel, Annie Leibovitz, Jessye Norman, Graham Norton, Charlotte Rampling, Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Tim Robbins, Isabella Rossellini, Salman Rushdie, Sharon Stone, Viktor & Rolf, Dita von Teese, Rufus Wainwright, Christoph Waltz.

Asi Wind, Rufus Wainwright and Joshua Lombard are happy to be at the Paradiso event.

Benefit Chairs were Shaikha Paula Al-Sabah, Lisa Anastos, Wallis Annenberg, Susan Baker and Michael Lynch, Monique Barbier-Mueller, Kelly Behun Sugarman and Jay Sugarman, Sandra Brant and Ingrid Sischy, Canyon Ranch Living - Miami Beach, Jean-Paul Claverie, Paula Cooper and Jack Macrae, Lisa de Kooning, Adelaide de Menil and Ted Carpenter, Wendy and Roger Ferris, Anke and Juergen Friedrich, Barbara Goldsmith, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Gary Hattem, Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney, Maja Hoffman and Stanley Buchthal, Carola and Robert Jain, Calvin Klein, Dorothy Lichtenstein, The Honorable Earle I. and Carol Mack, Alison Mazzola, Richard Meier, Princess Alexandra of Greece and Nicolas Mirzayantz, Nancy Negley, Lisa and Richard Perry, Maria Pessino, Tatiana and Campion Platt, Katharine and William Rayner, Leila and Melville Straus, Ellen and Stephen Susman, Christine Wächter-Campbell and William I. Campbell.

Stewart F. Lane, Bonnie Comley and Irving Salem enjoy the evening.

Contemporary Chairs included Valerie Boster, Martin Dawson, Amanda Hearst, Dalia Oberlander, and Moises de la Renta. The Contemporary Committee included Genevieve Bahrenburg, CeCe Barfield, Georgina Bloomberg, Marissa Bregman, Nick Brown, Annie Churchill Albert, Peter Davis, Zani Gugelmann, Julie Henderson, Cena Jackson, Genevieve Jones, Terence Koh, Allison Lubin, Josephine Meckseper, Karline Moeller, Jon Neidich, Richard Phillips, Taryn Simon, Dani Stahl, Luigi Tadini, Andrea Tese, Arden Wohl.

New this year and also featured in the live auction were 100 bottles of "WM," Watermill Paradiso Scent designed exclusively for Watermill by International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) senior designer Loc Dong. The bottles were uniquely designed by Watermill International Summer Program participants, and founder Wilson.

Robert Borchart, Julie Steamer and Ed Richards are all smiles.

IFF senior perfumer Dong created a scent to immortalize the evening, inspired by the enriched experience and unique ambience of the Center and the evening as well and collaborated with three of the invited artists on their installations. Born in Saigon and a leading perfumer for more than 17 years, Dong has created signature scents for Giorgio Armani, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Versace and Estee Lauder. This is Loc's first time to create a scent specifically for an event experience of this visionary nature. IFF worked with Prolitec Inc. for their diffusion systems allowing them to showcase the Watermill Paradiso scent at the benefit.

The core of the scent is defined by the musky aura of Ambrette seeds mixed with incandescent Cashmeran to evoke paradoxical sensations of freshness and warmth. Elements of blood Rose infused with Kaffir lime leaves bring a shocking explosion of erotic energy that suffuses the senses with outerwordly sensuality.

For more information on the Watermill Center go to www.watermillcenter.org.

Paradise did indeed emerge, and was greeted with a full moon to help illuminate the vastness and richness of the installations, art, performances and guests who participated in this year's enjoyable "Paradiso."

A full moon beckons guests to the dinner held following the cocktail party, and helps to illuminate the tent exhibiting art works available during the silent auction.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.


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Guest (Guest) from 'Watermill' says::
As a guest of Bob and his wonderful merry band we were expecting something fabulous..of course. But as the sun set and the "GATEWAY TO PARADISE" shed its white light across us I felt truly transformed, travelling towards a white (unicornlike) light and realised NO AMOUNT OF MONEY can buy, or capture trhese kinds of transcendant moments of CREATION. Thanks Bob and whoever the artist was that made this monumental portal. JPL
Aug 10, 2010 11:41 pm


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