With Frieze Week in full swing, the who’s who of the city’s social scene is moving from one art event to the next. But Thursday night there was only one show everyone was talking about — and it wasn’t a typical gallery affair.
Anna Delvey, everyone’s favorite fake heiress who loves to hate (or hates to love), has returned with a lavish artistic presentation at the PUBLIC Hotel presented in partnership with something called “Art Club Founders. The kicker? She orchestrated the whole thing from her ICE holding cell.
From con artist to self-proclaimed artist, Anna debuted her original sketches in the one-night-only exhibition titled “Allegedly.” Rather appropriate, right?
Amid the glittering backdrop of PUBLIC’s Chrystie Bar, filled with fallen crystal chandeliers, guests sipped champagne cocktails (called, very ironically, “Anna on ICE”) as they waited for signs that an exhibition of art would take place. You see, there was actually no artwork on display in the lavish space when we all arrived, prompting chatty attendees to wonder if we had all been ripped off. Not that we’re complaining about a party and an open bar.
Finally, the DJ caught our attention and an Anna-channeling performer greeted us all before launching into a cheeky dance routine/lip-sync performance to Britney Spears and, of course, “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna. His closing remarks? “If you’re poor… get out!”
The crowd erupted in raucous applause for that one, but quickly quieted down as the sound of a phone ringing took over the speakers. According to a recording, the call came from “an inmate at the Orange County Jail,” where Anna is currently fighting deportation to Germany. Finally, Anna herself was on the line, with a message for her guests.
“I’m so excited to unveil my very first collection of art, titled ‘Allegedly’. This is a collection of sketches I created while in detention in ICE Orange County. I wanted to capture some moments from the past few years, both previously unseen and iconic, using the limited tools at my disposal. Some of the pieces are simple, others are more abstract and will have unique meaning and appearance to the viewer. studied fashion illustration in Paris and didn’t really draw until my trial.
She added, “You’ve heard so many voices already, but this is the beginning of my story, my story from my point of view. I hope you enjoy the show.”
As she signed, to more shouts and applause, the doors of Bar Chrystie opened as the model, wearing a black dress, huge sunglasses and a black nylon balaclava covering her face, came out holding the first of Anna’s framed pieces. The motorcade set off the crowd – and flashes – as models strutted around the room with Kanye West tunes pumping through the speakers.
It was dramatic, totally extra, and absolutely on Anna Delvey’s mark.
After the show’s artistic presentation, guests headed to the lobby for a closer look at the sketches, before the artwork and revelers headed to an upstairs room to view the pieces on display.
The semi-surreal evening, which made us wonder why we couldn’t help but fangirl over a criminal, ended with a statement from Anna’s attorney, who was in attendance, and finally, a live call from the woman of the hour herself.
If you’re wondering about the actual art, well, we have to admit they were all pretty fun. From a self-portrait in an orange jumpsuit swinging behind bars to an intricately detailed cover of an imaginary journal titled “The Delvey Crimes,” the sketches were as self-aware as they were self-inspired. One piece was just Anna’s name written over and over with the words “Not Guilty”.
Curious? Click for a preview!