Monday, January 14, 2008

When they don't welcome you---Everywhere

As a social event blogger and serial networker and party-goer, I always thought that I am invited to all open events. Those asking for a RSVP, I do RSVP them and so far, I never had a problem at the entrance. I have always been accepted and welcomed. Events are for people and without them can't really exist. Admit it, who wants to organize an event with no guests and participants? Which guest would like to attend an event with no people? None.

Some event organizers though, despite the open door policy, do discriminate. Because they pretend to be high-class, they pick and choose people at the door and they want to make a statement or to show their power. They are so much mistaken.

Chelsea Gallery openings in New York City on Thursdays are traditionally open to the public for free and do not require a RSVP. With the exception of few private gallery openings that keep their door closed with a note saying: Private Party. There is only one gallery, a pretentious one, I should say that has a different approach. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery does not welcome everybody. The police woman at the door selects the ones she likes (based most of the times on clothes or just the face). The gallery owners tell you that "this is a private party" so as to get rid of the unwanted ones. At the same time, they circulate postcards with details of their opening in the very same building that reads: "You are Cordially Invited to Attend Our Gala Opening Champagne Reception Beaux Art and New Year's Ball", Thursday, January 10 2008.
And then, when you show up, they easily kick you out. I was the one of the numerous kicked out last Thursday by a woman who was cynical and cheap. I remembered last summer that another door person (of the same gallery) didn't allow a guest in jeans to come in. She found her way back with the crowds and when I approached her, we both laughed at the ridiculous behavior of the gallery people. She then told me that she was a journalist.

That's why open to the public receptions and parties should respect everyone. Because organizers do not know who may be at their door. One day may be a journalist or a blogger. Another time may be an art buyer. Gallery owners should realize that they need all those people - the journalist and the blogger and the art buyer. Without them - us- can't do much. They need coverage and they also need sales. Although I don't buy art myself, I know many people who buy and I often talk to them about the shows I go. Will I ever talk about the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery? I have no intention to do so.

I am not supporting party crashing. Not at all. In a city like New York, party crashers are everywhere and most of the time, seem to enjoy their life. But that's a different story or approach to "going out" without being invited. I am not a fan of it and I don't do it. There is something exclusive with RSVPs that I don't want to miss.

But unless there is a closed door with a note "private party" on it or someone with a check-list, the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery will have to accept all people coming in instead of pretending having a "fake" private party. Because journalists, bloggers, art buyers and the public will also become "fake" party crashers. The other solution is a change of their invitation. Replace the "You are Cordially Invited to Attend " with "You are Cordially Unwanted to Attend". And correct the spelling mistake in Beaux Art. That will be a good start for the new year.