On September 17, artist Aaron Young turned the Seventh Regiment Armory into an art-world version of an indoor Hells Angels rally. For seven minutes, ten riders performed elaborate burnouts over a vast patch of specially painted boards; their tires dug into the orange paint, underneath leaving giant scribbles in their wakes. Five hundred VIP guests stood on the second-floor wraparound balcony as the riders skidded, back-circled, and revved their engines. Amid celebrities and curious somebodies such as Stephanie Seymour, Chloë Sevigny, Terry Richardson, Usher, Rufus Wainwright, and Tom Ford (he and Sotheby’s “sponsored” it; Art Production Fund produced it), many in the audience had to make use of the gas masks passed out at the entrance as the air filled with burned rubber and exhaust. At the end, two cycles “signed” the painting AY 07, to cheers.
Rarely is an artist’s burnout so enjoyable to watch. Vroom! Vroom!
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