Topical Cream was honored to celebrate the life and legacy of Gretchen Bender at Red Bull Arts.
Provisions were provided by Spiral Theory Test Kitchen, a self-described queer cooking collective helmed by artists Precious Okoyomon’s, Bobbi Salvör Menuez, Quori Theodor, MK, and Kaijja Xiao.
The gathering was to celebrate the video artists legacy IRL and to allow New York artists and writers who might not be familiar with her work the opportunity to be present in her space. Like the best underground dinner parties, the guest of honor was unannounced — Bart, Precious Okoyomon’s pet eel sat perched at the end of the table, slowly swimming back and forth as friends and family got to know each other better.
Guests sat next to Gretchen Bender’s “People in Pain,” 1988 a large installation composed of black vinyl and blue neon which features every movie title which was in production during a six month period between 1987-1988.
Spiral Theory Test Kitchen served dusted red snapper, and the guests ended the night with Loquat Panna Cotta with honey ants and orchid sugar served in a Red Bull can.
The final event of the evening was a private screening of Bender’s massive installation “Total Recall.”
Last week, we gathered under the hypnotic lights of the New York skyline at the Top of the Standard to commemorate the closing of our second annual benefit auction, powered by Artsy.
Dressed in a cream Telfar pantsuit styled by Avena Gallagher, singer Xhosa opened the evening with a solemn piano solo of John Lennon’s Imagine, followed by an energetic performance by musician Joe Heffernan. A cool line-up of DJs kept the party going including Whitney Claflin, Eartheater, DeSe, and New York legend Venus X, there to support Topical Cream’s mission.
Even the drinks were created to bring attention to Topical Cream’s pursuits, representative of how only 30% of artists with gallery representation identify as women or gnc. Signature cocktails crafted by Angela Dimaguya and Ashley Santoro featuring Tito’s Handmade Vodka were appropriately titled “the 30%” by TC founder Lyndsy Welgos. Besides Tito’s, Topical Cream partnered with Moodbeli who offered their adaptogen blend, Semiotext(E) who donated several titles, and elvis + elvin, who sent their iconic Lilac Stem Cell Treatment Masks. These gifts aimed to keep revelers healthy long past the auction’s closing bell.
Featured in attendance were Lyndsy Welgos, Leilah Weinraub, Felix Burrichter, Katy Brandes, Whitney Mallett, Marcella Zimmermann, Janiva Ellis, Lena Henke, Willa Nasatir, Cajsa von Zeipel, and many more artists from the auction as well our advisory board members and long-time friends of Topical Cream. All party-goers danced the night away some winning the works they’d hoped for through Venus X’s DJ set, topping off the party with a palpable electric energy.
Featured in attendance were artists from the auction as well our advisory board and long-time friends of Topical Cream. A steady incline emerged starting with the DJs climbing up to the performances, setting a tone of excitement and eccentricity enhanced through the rooftop club’s otherworldly aesthetic. All party-goers dancing together formed a timeless sense of fun that only continued on through Venus X’s DJ set, topping off the electric energy that was palpable in the air that night.