Moca New 30th Anniversary Gala Raises Record-Breaking $4million
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday, November 14, 2009, with a record-breaking international gala, the MOCA NEW 30th Anniversary Gala, raising more than $4 million. More than 1,000 luminaries from the worlds of art, fashion, and Hollywood, ranging from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to Jeff Koons to Miuccia Prada, came out in support of MOCA.
Gala guests attended the premiere of the exhibition Collection: MOCA's First Thirty Years, featuring more than 500 works by some 200 artists from the museum's renowned permanent collection of nearly 6,000 pieces, and running through May 3, 2010. Following the private preview, guests arrived at the gala tent erected over Grand Avenue outside the museum and entered a world designed by artist Francesco Vezzoli and featuring a one-night-only performance artwork starring Lady Gaga and dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet. To create this MOCA-commissioned work of art, Vezzoli collaborated with other artists including Frank Gehry, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, Prada, and Damien Hirst. The performance was made possible by Honorary Gala Chairs Larry Gagosian of Gagosian Gallery and Dasha Zhukova of Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow. Following the performance, a Steinway & Sons piano customized in pink with blue butterfly motifs by celebrated artist Hirst, which Lady Gaga played during the world premiere of her new song Speechless, was auctioned live, fetching $450,000 in support of MOCA.
The MOCA NEW 30th Anniversary Gala drew 1,000 international guests from the worlds of art, fashion, and Hollywood. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie joined MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel for an hour-long tour of Collection: MOCA's First Thirty Years. On the red carpet, celebrities mingled with MOCA NEW 30th Anniversary Gala Co-Chairs Maria Arena Bell and Eli Broad, along with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and MOCA Board Co-Chair David Johnson.
Celebrity guests included Jessica Alba, Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman, Kate Bosworth, Albert Brooks, Pierce Brosnan, Ciara, Diablo Cody, James Franco, Daisy Fuentes, Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch, Brian Grazer, Brad Grey, Neil Patrick Harris, David LaChapelle, Norman and Lyn Lear, John Legend and Christine Teigen, Lori Loughlin, Kyle MacLachlan, Shirley Manson, Catherine Martin, Rose McGowan, Mike Medavoy, Eva Mendes, Carey Mulligan, Chris O'Donnell, Sandra Oh, Michelle Phillips, Brett Ratner, Christina Ricci, Guy Ritchie, Zoe Saldana, Ridley Scott, Chloe Sevigny, Cameron Silver, Joel Silver, MOCA Trustee Darren Star, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, Marisa Tomei, Gore Vidal, and Pharrell Williams.
Art world luminaries included artists in attendance Doug Aitken, MOCA Trustee John Baldessari, Chris Burden, David Hockney, Jeff Koons, MOCA Trustee Barbara Kruger, Liz Larner, Paul McCarthy, Ed Moses, Takashi Murakami, Laura Owens, Lari Pittman, Raymond Pettibon, Charles Ray, Nancy Rubins, Sterling Ruby, MOCA Trustee Ed Ruscha, Bill Viola, and Andrea Zittel; collectors Nicolas Berggruen, Frances Bowes, Peter Brant of Greenwich, Conn., Eva Chow, Douglas Cramer, the Gersh family, Laurence Graff of London, Maja Hoffman, Audrey Irmas, Pauline Karpidas, Heather and Steven Mnuchin, Stavros Niarchos, Sydney Picasso, Elena and Victor Pinchuk from the Ukraine, Sir Evelyn and Lady de Rothschild from London, Don and Mera Rubell from Miami, and Lauren and Benedikt Taschen; and top museum directors and curators from around the world, including Whitney Director Adam Weinberg, Klaus Biesenbach of PS1, Ann Philbin of the UCLA Hammer Museum, Michael Govan of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Samuel Keller of the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, Switzerland, and Germano Celant of the Fondazione Prada.
Fashion and design luminaries in attendance included Peter Dundas, Frank Gehry, Angela Missoni, Margherita Missoni, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Miuccia Prada, Jeremy Scott, Hedi Slimane, and Rachel Zoe.
"Never before have so many people come from around the world to support an L.A. arts institution," said MOCA Founding Chairman Eli Broad, who also served as gala co-chair. "No other museum has built such a great collection of art in just 30 years, and with the goal of doubling attendance in the next several years, we expect MOCA to serve an even greater public."
MOCA Board of Trustees Co-Chair and MOCA NEW 30th Anniversary Gala Co-Chair Maria Arena Bell said, "Not only did we exceed our financial goal for MOCA, raising a staggering $4 million, but we also created a living and breathing artwork by Francesco Vezzoli. We thank everyone who surpassed all expectations in supporting MOCA. This gala affirms that in the past 30 years, MOCA has made its mark as one of the greatest contemporary art museums in the world, and this event has successfully begun a new history for MOCA."
Welcomed to a cocktail reception with music curated by Pharell Williams, guests toured the art galleries, then transitioned to the gala tent for the evening's three-course dinner and performance. Guests were treated to a dinner prepared by celebrated restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, followed by the exclusive, one-night-only performance work of Francesco Vezzoli's Ballets Russes Italian Style (The Shortest Musical You Will Never See Again).
Lady Gaga was accompanied by dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet performing a reinterpreted version of Balanchine's famous Le Bal. The evening's performers wore costumes designed by Prada and Vezzoli, with Lady Gaga donning a hat by architect Frank Gehry. The performance also featured masks worn by Lady Gaga and Vezzoli by contributing artists Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.
The unique artworks featured in the gala performance-including the hat, masks, and costumes-will be auctioned by Sotheby's in the MOCA NEW 30th Anniversary Gala Benefit Auction, a public online auction that will run through 11:59pm PST November 30. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the museum's exhibition and education programs.
The worldwide auction is open to the public for online bidding at moca.org/mocanewauction. For more information about the auction or to view the works, please contact Veridiana Pontes-Ring at