Sexy Beast: A Night for Planned Parenthood
“Please be as generous as you can, because this shit matters,” Emmy-nominated documentary director Dawn Porter told an artist, collector, and celebrity-filled crowd inside the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday night just before Viveca Paulin-Ferrell auctioned off 13 original works (by the likes of Alex Becerra, Sterling Ruby, Katherine Bradford, Mira Dancy, Claire Tabouret, and Rirkrit Tiravanija) to bidders waving Math Bass-designed paddles for the second edition of Sexy Beast for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.
Co-chaired by LA event producer Eliah Perona and Night Gallery’s Mieke Marple and Davida Nemeroff, the benefit was hosted by comedian Andy Richter, who relayed a moving personal story (to great applause) about his own experience with Planned Parenthood nearly 25 years ago alongside his then-girlfriend/now-wife. The evening also featured a silent auction run by Paddle8 and a hypnotic dance piece by the performance trio known as WIFE (Jasmine Albuquerque, Kristen Leahy, and Nina McNeely) who gyrated on plinths in an attempt to become living sculptures via mapping projections of surrealist animations (from Mondrian palettes to bleak landscapes) that scrawled across their white costumes and headwear. The performances, anecdotes and auction — as well as Porter’s acceptance speech for the Sexy Beast Award she received for Trapped, her new documentary about the “trapped” laws diminishing women’s reproductive rights across the country— drew standing ovations from the 300-plus guests in attendance, including actresses Rose McGowan and Jennifer Tilly, LA gallerists Esther Kim Varet, Shulamit Nazarian, and Shirley Morales, Angeleno sommelier extraordinaire Helen Johannesen (of Helen’s Wines, the evening’s beverage sponsor), and a lot of artists named Alex (Becerra, Israel, Olson).
“I want to say that the real people who are the beasts, the fierce, incredible people that you should think about and recognize are the people who work in the clinics day in and day out,” Porter concluded. “By being here you are saying they matter, you recognize their work and value it and you’re going to help them continue. Thank you so much. This is beautiful.”