MOCA Gala: Urs Fischer, the GoGo’s, 420 and $2.5 Million Raised

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MOCA threw its annual fundraising gala on 4/20 and through the haze of date-appropriate smoke and imagery, at MOCA Geffen, past the 2013 Ferraris parked in front of MOCA Grand, over  the bleating baby of goats and blare of the USC Trojan marching band, under the giant panda with the “potty” sign directing guests to the fancy festival style toilets, in front of the hula dancers, beyond the Renaissance costumed greeters, throughout the two Urs Fischer exhibits–one at MOCA Grand the other at MOCA Geffen–and during the  GoGo’s performance, $2.5 million dollars was raised.

The gala event dinner party  at MOCA Geffen was seriously over the top, designed by artist Rob Pruitt to be, in his words, po-po-mo, that is post-Post-Modern. Lots of disparate concepts and visuals slammed together in a truly mind-boggling experience, enhanced no doubt for many the free flowing vodka and date-related energy.

As we sat down for dinner designed by Wolfgang Puck, Cindy chatted with Tanner Blackman, planner for the Code Studies Section of the City of LA’s Department of City Planning (better known as the cool mural dude in City Hall), while I had a charming encounter at table number 4 with Retna; he’s such a gentleman.

Guests dined family style under video screens (the entree course of chicken and beef arrived as larger than life crocodiles ripped apart an unlucky water buffalo). Mark Mothersbaugh played during the salad course. MOCA Co-Chairs David G. Johnson,  Maria Arena Bell and  controversial MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch spoke entre-courses.

Deitch appeared on stage wearing an eye patch and made humorously self-deprecating remarks about currying  attention with his movie star friends and movie star shows (the Dennis Hopper retrospective,  James Franco as curator), and celebrity chefs; kidded Larry Gagosian, and thanked Eli Broad for his support, before joking that there would soon be a video retrospective directed by leading filmmakers highlighting Broad’s support of the arts. And yes, there will be a disco show (that wasn’t a joke). Deitch’s entire speech was really funny, but  I the only person laughing out loud. Maybe it wasn’t that kind of crowd. Then “Aude Lang Syne” played over the speakers and the video screens showed swirling dollar bills as coupons from Applebees and Quiznos dropped on party-goers like confetti.

The GoGo‘s played a great (though brief) set, with their new bassist Abby Travis–totally stoked to to see Abby, who I have known from her days as a Desperate Teenage Love Doll), then dessert was served outside before the shuttles with videos of stoner icon and Chicano art collector  Cheech Marin discussing art and 4/20 transported us back ot MOCA Grand.

We’ll be doing more coverage on the Urs Fischer installations at both museums–the first United States retrospective of the Swiss artist. Go see them. Immediately.



Mark Mothersbaugh on the red carpet


Artists Retna and Rigo Jiminez with outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villagraigosa.



Patio cocktails


Vanitas at vanity table, positioned perfectly to reflect the guests.


One of Fischer’s works features a line of fresh fruit suspended from the ceiling, while skeletons lurk and recline.


Fischer’s wondrous installations. The cottage is made of bread.

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I thought Schroedinger’s Cat debating participation in the experiment, but I usually over think.



It’s 4/20.


Aloha, I guess art can get you lei’ed


Another weed reference? A new panda meme? Nah, just a helpful sign towards the honey wagons and reference to gala designer, artist Rob Pruitt, who uses pandas in his art.


These goats’ moms were responsible for the cheese bar.


We got a quick look at the Urs Fischer sculptures installation– thousands of clay works made by the artist with the help of 1,500 people in L.A. at MOCA Geffen– before the medieval heralds blew the trumpets for dinner.




Everyone loves cats. Especially giant cats on video.



Yessssss, it was 4/20. And yesssss, those are bongs.


I hope no Bruin fans are in the MOCA donor base.


Mark Mothersbaugh performed.


Jeffrey Deitch delivered some good zingers.


Have you met my friend George Washington?


I guess these will come in handy once the munchies from the party favors in the bongs kick in….


The world’s most successful all-female rock band,  GoGo’s–and OMG, it’s Abby on bass!


Abby Travis has played with Beck, Elastica, Masters of Reality, Spinal Tap, and KMFDM as well has having a solo career as a singer/songwriter


Jane Weidlin!


Belinda Carlisle





Gina Shock is drumming and the crowd has got the beat!



Shepard Fairey.


Tanner Blackman, planner for the Code Studies Section of the City of LA’s Department of City Planning. TL/DR: Mural dude at City Hall. Woot!


Who doesn’t love cotton candy?


Cotton candy is pretty.


Pretty, sweet, fluffy, and brightly colored.

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