At around 9:30 last night, Andre Balazs arrived at the top of the Standard, the intimidatingly tall and starkly designed hotel he owns in the Meatpacking District. Which is to say, he arrived at the Top of the Standard, the sleek bar with wraparound windows on the hotel’s 18th floor, that is better known to most as The Club Formerly Known as the Boom Boom Room. Or just the Boom Boom Room. Or, well, let’s just say that this morning The Observer received an e-mail asking if we were at “Boom,” and we understood immediately what was meant. As Mr. Balazs passed the glossily made-up girls at the front desk, he was asked, “Will you be needing a table, sir?” but he ignored the question, glided past the girls and through the massive gilded door of Boom, took a lap through Downtown for Democracy’s jam-packed benefit hosted by über-hip L.A. gallery Ohwow, glad-handed with hipsters, caught a speech by Terry Richardson’s girlfriend Audrey Gelman (who, by the way, is legitimately involved in politics), then took the elevator 15 floors south and arrived, without having been missed, without seeming to have really disappeared at all, at his hotel’s Highline Room event space, where he’d laid out two long tables for a dinner in honor of his friend and colleague, artist Marco Brambilla, and lined them with bold-faced names. This is why Andre Balazs is the reigning maestro of the hospitality industry, and you are not.
One of the first things you learn in any introductory journalism class—nestled somewhere between how to write a nut graf and why you shouldn’t use a pen when you’re reporting outside in the winter (the ink freezes)—is never to include in an article details about the meal you ate during an interview. This is why we’re so tickled by the Financial Times’ ongoing “Lunch with the FT” series. Here, the writer gets what sounds like a very expensive lunch with a powerful person–including a number of important art dealers–and meticulously catalogues the food consumed, often using the interviewee’s order choices as an extended metaphor for his or her personality and biography. Another thing, one that may or may not be particularly true of The Observer (we’ll never tell), the FT always picks up the tab.
They might not pass journalism 101, but boy howdy are these things a hoot. Let’s see what we’ve learned about our favorite art dealers from the kind of salad they eat.
For the latest edition of the Financial Times‘ much-loved “Lunch with the FT” column–even politically engaged curator Okwui Enwezor recently admitted he’s a fan–Jackie Wullschlager sat down with White Cube owner Jay Jopling at the restaurant Zucca in London. It was Mr. Jopling’s first lengthy interview in a decade: he’s promoting the opening of the fourth White Cube gallery, in Hong Kong.
British duo Gilbert & George are the lucky artists who have been tapped by Jay Jopling, the owner of White Cube, to inaugurate the gallery’s new space in Hong Kong. The gallery announced today that it will open the 6,000-square-foot space, at 50 Connaught Road, on March 2 with a show of the partners’ “London Pictures,” their largest series to date.