It was a shockingly different crowd who gathered last night in the World of Wonder storefront gallery to celebrate the launch of Ovation TV’s Art & the City series. The space, which usually is host to wild rabbles of tattooed and tortured nightclubbers come to see naked Golden Girls and Britney’s shaved pubes, last night was a rather fabulous ground zero for a mix of WOW people and well-heeled adults enjoying a proper cocktail party with hot hors d’oeuvres – as smoldering images of David Keeps and Britney’s nether regions lurked from the walls. Genial, slightly manic host Keeps, whose art-induced antics in other cities were screened around the room, drew quite an impressive roster of guests: Hitch screenwriter Kevin Bisch, event planner Bryan Rabin, Bret Witke, voice of Bart Simpson Nancy Cartwright, Ann Magnuson, Dirty Sexy Money actress Michelle Krusiec and boyriend Matthew Pope, William Morris agent Andrew Atkin, reality and gameshow producer Michael Binkow, screenwriter Robert Rosenheck, Payless creative director Adamo de Gregorio, Redbook editor Lori Berger, Keeps’ yoga instructor Maja Zimmerman, artists Dennis and Cheryl Ekstrom, KCRW’s Frances Anterton, Danzig drummer London May, celebrity journo Brantley Bardin, architectural photographers John Ellis and Kenneth Johannson, and Delight.com’s Lynda Keeler and boyfriend Bob Merlis, among others. Sending their regrets, lamented Keeps, were Timothy Olyphant, who was shooting in Paris, and Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller, who had his own premiere to attend.
Photos by Thairin Smothers, from top: Keeps plays monkey in the middle of an interior design manwich, featuring, from left, lighting and furniture designer Matt Locke, John Brady (second from left) and Willard Ford (Harrison’s son) of the Chinatown furniture showroom Ford-Brady; Art & the City‘s production team: associate producer Graham McKay, producer Jane Fitzgerald, and editor Alejandro Gedeon; Bryan Rabin, Geri Logan, and Steven Corfe; WOW producer Mona Card and music composer David Steinberg; Kevin Bisch and Keeps; a bit of fashion; WOWers Chris McKim, Kristin Rasmussen, and Jen Walter; Keeps, bursting out of his John Bartlett mid-1990s sharkskin two-piece with pride, lines up with the suits of Ovation TV and Time-Warner Cable while, in the background, the bespectacled Kris Slava, who developed Art & The City for Ovation, stands in front of Britney Spears’ bajina; Keeps, Randy Barbato, your elflike WOW Report editor, and Fenton Bailey, who don’t need flash photography to be flash