CENTRAL PARK CONSERVATORY
Our Backyard Exhibit Celebrates
Central Park’s 150th Birthday
By Edward T. Callaghan
Photos by Rob Rich
HANKS to the efforts of Larry and Denise Wohl and daughter Joselyn, some 35 of the world’s top fashion and lifestyle photographers contributed their individual views of New York’s backyard, Central Park, for a special exhibition and auction to benefit the Central Park Conservancy.
The Park Avenue Arsenal, overlooking the splendid park designs of Vaux and Olmstead, was the ideal setting for this 150th birthday celebration. The crowd was as diverse as any you might see strolling through the park on a Saturday afternoon – Park Avenue socialites, downtown hipsters, sleek Europeans, Soho artists and students of every ilk and stripe.
Sipping the Chambord spiked champagne in the gallery were Arnie and Paola Rosenschein, John and Andrea Stark with daughter Ashley, Dennis Basso, Michael Cominotto, Kelly Klein, Pamela Morgan, Anne Easton, Tony Vargas, Michael Swan, Deborah Kusnetz, Carole and Michael Fromer, Sale Johnson and, of course, the Hilton Girls.
Dazed and Confused, the hip London-based arts and style glossy, was quite fittingly the sponsor. I mean, who loves their parks and pets more than the British? Accordingly, there were lots of tiny dogs in opulent designer carry bags.
Bidding was strong for the pictures which ranged from the serene to slightly bizarre – from Joselyn Wohl’s dreamy off-focus black and white shots of her own playground growing up in NYC to Alexei Hay’s portrait of the face of his friend, Dusty, floating on the lake.
Rob Rich, 15 Minutes Magazine celebrity/society photographer, found himself in the spotlight, as a passionate group, including restaurateur Jeffery Chodorov, vied for Rich’s sepia-toned image of the gondolas on Central Park Lake. We may be prejudiced, but then so were the bidders, as Rich’s picture commanded one of the highest prices of the evening.
Another out of town group provided cool comfort for those who lost out on the auction. Cold Stone Creamery of Tempe, Arizona, provided some 30 choices of their “made that very day” ice cream, manager Jason Cuevas told us. The savvy Southwesterners, who opened a stand on 42nd Street, know that parks and ice cream are a pair made in heaven.