The buzz surrounding MOCA’s gala for 2011, An Artist’s Life Manifesto, art directed by performance artist and latter-day mystic Marina Abramović, continues to build. The latest: Deborah Harry will perform at this year’s event on November 12, following a long list of musical guests who’ve lent their star-wattage to the fundraiser, including Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Devendra Banhart, Beck, and Caetano Veloso.
Deborah Harry, a New York icon and pal-cum-muse of Marc Jacobs, has been an attraction at MOCA before. Her spray-painted portrait by Lee Quinones and Blondie’s groundbreaking music video for Rapture, featuring artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Fab 5 Freddy, were featured in MOCA’s recent exhibition Art in The Streets. Rapture was the first music video to introduce rap to a wide audience, influencing a generation of musicians.
Rivaling the Costume Institute’s Met Gala in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s yearly gala has become a searing-hot ticket since the ©MURAKAMI event in 2007, a collaboration between Takashi Murakami and Kanye West. Two years later, the gala clocked in a thousand guests to witness a high-concept performance hatched by artist Francesco Vezzoli, starring Lady Gaga—who pounded on a Steinway & Sons piano customized by Damien Hirst in pink and blue butterflies—and Bolshoi ballet dancers. Each year, the gala raises several million dollars for the museum.