Santigold played a lively hour-long set at the Museum of Modern Art last night for its annual Party in the Garden gala, accompanied by a full band that wore Max Headroom style-plastic flattops. She was also joined by dancers who prowled every inch of the smallish outdoor stage, at one point opening the parasols they’d brought with them to add a little flamingo-like flourish to the strut.
It was that kind of party. The lighting felt mostly purple and the garden was decked with giant balloon bulbs that hung from a tent covering a white plastic carpet that ran the length of the dance floor. The younger after-party crowd arrived at 9 p.m. to the strains of a Solange Knowles D.J. set.
“Matisse has never looked better,” said art adviser Lowell Pettit, taking in the statues between the glitz. It was actually his first Garden Party. “I don’t know if Alfred Barr would approve of that white Astroturf, but we’ll work with it.”
The model Coco Rocha arrived early with her husband James. She’s only done two shoots that she would qualify as Cindy Sherman-ish, a Neanderthal for Italian Vogue and a space-alien opera singer. How do you position your face for an alien portrait anyway?
“It was just this,” she said, and slacked her jaw in a blank model stare. “It was what I always do.”
Artist sightings at this portion of the event were rare, but significant. Hey Chuck Close, are you a fan of Santigold? “I barely know who she is,” he said, and wheeled off.
Later in the night, and thinking of Manhattan, an important question occurred. Had any of the attendees ever had the “wrong kind” of orgasm?
“Frequently,” said Charles, an investment banker enjoying a cigarette outside the event. “I tend to feel bad afterwards.” Isn’t that common for men? “I suppose you’re right.”
“Well, the one on 9/12 felt pretty wrong,” quipped another finance guy inside. Other answers were excluded for their reality.
The rumor spread that there would be a special guest joining Santigold near the end of the set. “It has to be Jay-Z,” reasoned one art publicity person. “His sister-in-law just deejayed, and he played with Kanye last year. ” No luck—after Santigold, the techincians came out and started breaking down the stage. Everybody cleared out shortly after that, but it wasn’t the wrong way to spend an evening.