Brian Wolk and Claude Morais of Wolk Morais write in from the West Coast about their night out on Thursday to support The AIDS Monument.
The stars all aligned at Milk Studios last night to support PHOTO16 , the second annual photography auction to raise funds for the The AIDS Monument to be constructed in West Hollywood. Legendary icons were in abundance as subjects of the masterworks on the walls (David Bowie, Elizabeth Taylor, Prince, Andy Warhol, Cher, Beyoncé ) as well as in the flesh drinking bubbly amongst the effervescent crowd. Some of our kismet encounters included Lionel Richie, Dita Von Teese, and Elizabeth Taylor’s granddaughter Naomi Wilding.
Photographs by Dennis Hopper, Michael Childers, Ed Ruscha, and a prized Bruce Weber masterpiece (donated by New York’s own Beth Rudin DeWoody) brought in upwards of $300,000 for the event. Art curators from Los Angeles’ premier galleries such as Dean Anes from Gagosian; Michael Maloney of Maloney Fine Arts, and Laura Watts of Honor Fraser Gallery came together to collaborate with private collectors and other cultural figures which included: Bobby Heller the founder of OPUS; Bryan Rabin nightlife and culture impresario and John Gile, AIDS Activist and philanthropist, who assembled a diverse and provocative collection. The host committee includes key members of Los Angeles’ Art, Entertainment & Philanthropy communities including the award winning producer Lee Daniels, creator of the hit show Empire.
Designed by Daniel Tobin of the Urban Art Projects, The AIDS Monument will have a large digital component offering an integrated technology both on-site and online offering an overall immersive experience for users. Visitors will be able to upload their own memorials including stories, videos, and images of lost ones as well as honor caregivers, community leaders, and activists that continue to fight against HIV/AIDS. The AIDS Monument will act as an information center to the public providing links to information on HIV/AIDS prevention and education while also raising awareness about the history and culture of the disease. The Monument will serve as a physical and digital commemoration encouraging conversation while removing the stigma that HIV/AIDS still carries. -Brian and Claude