Love & Sex

American Party: MoMA PS1 Warm Up, Queens, NY

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Our reporter checks out the aesthetics at MoMA's outdoor art series.

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Are you an intrepid partygoer? About to go clubbing in Montreal or skinny-dipping in Montana? Send your photo documentation of a great party to

The Museum of Modern Art's off-site affiliate, MoMA PS1, in Queens, NY, is a leading purveyor of contemporary art. In the interest of bringing contemporary art to a wider audience, MoMA started the enormously successful summer-music series Warm Up.

There's an interesting mix of people at these things. Some people are there for the music, some are there for the art, and some are there, I think, to appear to be there for the music or the art. Photographers trying to capture interesting or hot or fashionable people compose a good chunk of the demographic (yes, I'm guilty too), and the line between the observer and the observed is blurry.

4601 21st Street
Queens, NY

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In typical New York fashion, the girlfriend I was going with backed out. "Can we make it 4 p.m.?" "Sure." "Hey, uh, can we make it 5 p.m.?" "Yeah." "6 p.m.?" "That's fine." "Yeah, can't go, sorry." But I went anyway, and I'm glad I did, because I ran into this pretty lady, who I went to school with.

You can only look cool if you look like you don't know your photo is being taken.

Incidentally, I had to hop around the the giant blue structure in the background of these photos so I wouldn’t get wet from its periodic water sprays. The installation is called Wendy. It was the winning response to a yearly MoMA competition to present a design for a temporary installation that responds to the environmental and social elements of the space. (In this case, airborne pollutants and fedoras.)

I think this woman is stunning.

You know what? Let's just look at her again.

This man stroked my camera.

This guy was friends with the camera-groper. He looks like he'd be friends with a camera-groper, doesn't he?

This guy breaks the cardinal rule of party photos: no smiling with teeth. But I think he gets away with it.

I'm desperately trying to avoid Zoolander references here. I just failed, didn't I?

Speaking of people who show up with the sole intent of being photographed, this girl appeared to have lost her pants. But you'll just have to take my word for it. Or head out to PS1 and cross your fingers. And yes, the couple in the background is watching her posing and giggling about it. Where was that observer/observed line, again?