You don’t have to reach all the way back to the days of David Mancuso for some epic downtown loft parties. Seven years ago, over the course of 50 successive Fridays, artist and designer Ryan McGinness held a series of legendary fetes in his Chinatown studio. Each had a separate theme, starting in July of 2009 with White Trash BBQ (kegs, sparklers, wet t-shirts) and ending in June of 2010 with a Talent Show (magic, dancing, and unicorns).
In between, there were scavenger hunts through Manhattan, a comedy show featuring Wyatt Cenac and Seth Herzog, paintball-fueled Shoot the Freak games, a cock fight with actual roosters, and, of course, a skating party that nodded to McGinness’s early work hand-painting skateboard decks.
Basically, it was the sort of cheeky stuff you’d expect from a guy who once swapped out postcards in museum gift shops with fake ones depicting his own work. Sure, there were the Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll parties (in that order, followed by a Rehab party with yoga and massages), but there were also dorkier pursuits like Pictionary, debate, and Dungeons & Dragons.
At The Standard Spa in Miami Beach on Friday, McGinness reprised some of the most memorable throwdowns and combined them into one big tub of Jell-O for Miami Art Week.
The Goth Party was reborn at “Club Ice Pick,” where there was a coffin and a DJ booth manned by Bill McMullen.
McGinness played a convincing corpse at his original Autopsy party, but in Miami he handed off the dead-man duties.
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There was Jell-O wrestling, naturally– and Jello-O shots, for good measure.
And some real fighting, courtesy of Fight Club.
The kissing booth looked pretty empty:
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But the sex room got some good use:
And there were glow-in-the-dark naked folks, as well.
The Luau Party was back in effect.own words. Truth be told, that sounds like a highfalutin way to describe a Spring Break-themed party. But McGinness also admits that the friends-only bashes allowed everyone to “skip tedious party chit-chat” (and, in the case of one party photographed by Spencer Tunick, just get naked).
Anyway, if you didn’t make the scene, there are an abundance of photos of the original parties online. And now you can pick up a copy of the 50 Parties book, published by Standard Press. The 500-page hardcover should be available at The Standard, High Line’s gift shop starting tomorrow. It’s appropriately priced at $50.
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Reporting by Angelo Fabara.