January 30, 2012
Ryan McGinley, Terence Koh, and Tilda Swinton Celebrate Sandro Kopp’s Lehmann Maupin Show
By Ann Binlot
German artist Sandro Kopp was chatting on Skype with his friend Waris Ahluwalia when he decided to turn the session into a portrait sitting. The work that resulted kept catching his eye. “I realized what an amazing, monumental opportunity it was to do something kind of contemporary with an old fashioned medium, like oil painting portraiture,” Kopp told us.
The series turned into Kopp’s ISTANBUL’74-presented exhibition, “There You Are” at Lehmann Maupin’s Chrystie Street gallery through February 4. Saturday, after a week of festivities, several of the artist’s subjects and friends — including Grey Area’s Kyle DeWoody, W editor Stefano Tonchi, art dealer Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, and artist Terence Koh — filled the Chinatown subterranean boîte Pulqueria for the show’s final fête, also presented by Istanbul '74.
Ryan McGinley said that he was using Skype for the first time when he sat for Kopp. “It was like a therapy session. Sandro just talked to me the whole time — I felt like I spilled my guts to him.”
“I thought someone should do Skype portraits a while ago,” Bill Powers, “Work of Art” judge and owner of Half Gallery, told us. “I thought it was an interesting way to use technology, especially in Terence’s piece, you can see a little bit of the blue glow from the screen.”
Kopp sat at a table in the corner with his partner Tilda Swinton, Koh, Ahluwalia, and other friends until the wee hours of the morning. How did Swinton manage to look so fresh in her Lanvin gown at the SAG Awards the next evening? We wish we knew her secret.