In a world of endless art and charity dinners, the owners of luxury barware brand Thomas Fuchs Creative are making a name for themselves opening up their home in an intimate spin on art fundraising.
ART AFTER STONEWALL (1969-1989), debuting in New York this April and later this year at Miami's Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU, is a profound exhibition exploring the Civil Rights Movement immediately following the Stonewall Riots in New York City, and Miami's art enthusiasts were there to show their support at Thomas Fuchs and Michou Mahtani's latest installment of their Tavolo artist's dinner series.
TFC's Tavolo dinners have become a hotbed for the Miami arts community, collectors and creatives alike gather in Fuchs and Mahtani's glass-walled Brickell high-rise to view artists' private collections and advocate for upcoming exhibitions. The Stonewall event, held on a warm night this spring, was particularly important to both hosts and guests. "My family is from Lebanon, Jamaica and India- places where gay isn't even allowed;' Mahtani, Partner and Global Brand Director of TFC, says. "This exhibition is timed for the 50th anniversary of the riots, and we want to get behind as many causes as we can in this new era of segregation- before they're made martyrs:'
The material of the show is rich, over 150 works in film and video, photography, painting and sculpture from Nan Goldin, Holly Hughes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tim Miller, Catherine Opie, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and their contemporaries, and was a trove of inspiration for Fuchs and Mahtani, who planned the evening with Miami events firm, Elemental MG. (The premise of the dinner series is integrating the artists' work into an immersive dinner experience, tailoring every detail from visuals to menu to showcase the artists.)
The hosts created gritty tablescapes by printing large-scale reproductions of the works, such as Gran Fury's "The Government Has Blood on Its Hands" political posters and "artist xxx??" photographs of protesters during the Lavender Scare, the anti-gay witch hunts of the McCarthy era. The effects struck a chord with attendees. As Frost Museum Director Jordana Pomeroy pointed out, "The event was not your typical evening in just another beautiful home, but a statement of support toward the goal of seeing this groundbreaking and powerful exhibition in their community:'
Fuchs and Mahtani strongly believe in embracing the sheer exuberance of LGTBQ culture while recognizing the significance of the movement. They chose TFC's REMAINS tabletop collection, featuring hammered metal ice buckets and skull tongs, in a macabre tongue-in-cheek nod to the era, while champagne purveyors Laurent-Perrier served bottles of Cuvee Rose, tapped for its 1968 release and the very cusp of the Stonewall artists' heyday. "It falls on us to make the entire evening effortlessly cohesive, selecting the artists and the work to blend seamlessly with the menu and our TFC Collections;' says Fuchs, Founder and Creative Director of his namesake company.
A high note for the dinner guests, including Michael Huffington, the hugely influential politician and activist, and the artist Martin Kreloff, whose work is part of the Stonewall exhibition, is watching Fuchs prepare every element of the meal himself from scratch. The pink champagne was the perfect pairing to the custom menu of pink salmon burgers on hand rolled phyllo, roasted lavender onion salad, and pink raspberry mousse cake.
Of course, The Stonewall Inn, the infamous NYC hub of the riots, was nothing if not a beer-and-balls bar, and so BTL SVC was on hand to provide their trademark coveted mini-bottles of Negronis, Manhattans, martinis, and the like.
As Monica Nishi, the hotel designer and collector said of the evening, "Michou and Thomas once again outdid themselves with grace and style, and gave their guests a sneak-preview of one of the most significant exhibitions to hit the Frost Museum at FIU in a long time:' -TFC