MOCA celebrates 30 years

After a tough year of financial woes that had more to do with mismanagement than the bad economy, MOCA put on a huge gala opening to celebrate its 30-year retrospective. Over a thousand of L.A.'s brightest lights in the entertainment and art worlds turned out for the party, which featured Lady Gaga in a seven-minute original performance.

Brad and Angelina were there, as were James Franco, Eva Mendes, Chloe Sevigny and Gwen Stefani with husband Gavin Rossdale. They perused the contemporary art in the galleries along with David Hockney, John Baldessari, Frank Gehry, Takashi Murikami and Ed Ruscha.

mocahockney.jpgCocktails were served, live lounge music was played and then the guests filed into a huge tent festooned with red velvet and crystal chandeliers. Lady Gaga's image was everywhere, her striking face featured in Russian revolution-era posters inside and outside the tent, and her performance piece, created with the collaboration of artist and needlepointer Francesco Vezzoli, was dedicated to and inspired by Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the Ballet Russes.

mocastefani.jpgDressed to the nines in a hat designed by Gehry (echoing the Disney Hall silhouette), dress by Prada, mask by Baz Luhrmann and Kewpie doll makeup, Ms. Gaga sat at a pink Steinway decorated by artist Damien Hirst as members of the Bolshoi Ballet danced along a catwalk. Lady Gaga was more subdued than usual at the high end event, for which a ticket ran in the thousands. After the show, the Damien Hirst piano--with Gaga's prints all over the ivories--was auctioned off and the winning bidder, gallery owner Larry Gagosian, took it home--or perhaps to his gallery--for $450,000.

mocaruscha.jpgMs. Gaga's costume pieces will be auctioned online to add to the $3.5 million the museum raised with the gala. "Collection: MOCA's First Thirty Years" will be free to the public for the coming week to see the real stars--Rothko, Warhol, Bengston, Baldessari, Rauschenberg and friends.

All photos by Iris Schneider. Click to view larger.

From the top: Lady Gaga performing, Mendes and Baldessari, Hockney, Stefani and Rossdale, Ruscha.

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