As Miley Cyrus twerked and crooned at the Raleigh Hotel last night, on the other side of the beach Brooke Candy tore up the stage at the second annual 2014 Celebration of Women in Art at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa. The event was produced by longtime Lady Gaga producer Nicole Ehrlich, in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum's Elizabeth A. Sackler School of Feminist Art, and School of Doodle.
Ehrlich is a woman on a mission. Her mission: to raise the representation of women in art museums, galleries, and shows. "More than half of the people in the media arts are women," she told the New Times, "but less than 10 percent of them are represented in museums."
From the get-go, the event was focused on performances by women. As party goers made their way past the velvet ropes into the venue they were greeted by Natalie White as she laid, half-naked, in a lucite cage. Visitors snapped pictures on their camera phones, prompting many to wonder about the possibility of exploitation.
White remained undeterred, "It's all about showing how women can turn-on other women in a non-narcissistic way, we really don't need men," said the West Virginia native.
As the audience got good and liquored up, Queen of the Night took to the round, circus-like stage. Last night's performance marked the first time the production was mounted outside their epic Paramount Hotel venue in New York City. Burlesque, vaudeville, cabaret and modern dance fused together in their mesmerizing set. The piece climaxed with an umbrella juggler, punctuated with several audience members opening up their own umbrellas in a sign of either solidarity or inebriation.
"This is just creating bad karma," quipped Rachel Goldberg, a superstitious local.
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As their set drew to a close, one couldn't help notice the throngs of hangers-on surrounding Tobey Maguire (clad in sweatpants) and Leonardo DiCaprio. The two movie stars danced and fist-pumped to club banger beats spun by former Le Tigre member JD Samson. Meanwhile, on the other side of the room Usher and Theophilus London schmoozed with an horde of elegant model-types in all black.
An hour later, Brooke Candy took to the stage. For those unfamiliar with her work, the chanteuse and rapper is perhaps best known for her original sense of style. This time, clad in a black robe like a seasoned boxer ready to knock the crowd out, she stripped down to a bikini once her music started booming. Her look was topped off by jet black '90s goth hair, black contacts, and prosthetic horns. Candy belted out her well known hits and a couple of B-sides. In between songs, she taunted the audience and at one point flipped everyone off. Needless to say she left everyone speechless.
As the night ended, the audience gawked at Paris Hilton snapping selfies. All and all the night was successful; fun was had, awareness was raised, and everyone got drunk.