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Art + Film in London

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2nd Oct 2008

The Whitechapel is one of London's premier contemporary galleries, and its location situated in the scrummy east-end of London has long made it a magnet for the bad and the beautiful. Last week the ever-gentrifying gallery held its annual "ART PLUS" party, which draws a unique mix of art, style and grit, all lubricated on champagne in celebration of this year's theme: Tod's Art Plus FILM 2008. The moving climax was a short film of guitar usage by Christian Marclay: surprisingly (embarrassingly) hot.

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Henry Holland and Agyness Deyn at Whitechapel
It featured former dancer/newcomer Cary Tree, who slowly strips to pertness as she plays an electric guitar with her body. This left the men agape in the pent-ultimate exposure of unrealized fantasy, and the women staring at the ceiling, pretending not to watch as they politely muttered, "I wish I had a body like that". Harvey, hello - call her. The glistening device then went up for silent auction. Limited bids.

Notable moments included Julien MacDonald tearing the sleeves off a $300 million pound hedge fund manager - "because it looks better that way" - and new IT girl Agyness Deyn on the pounce with a living clutch of boys straight from those Burberry ads. While older than she pretends, she still looked smashing in a House of Holland jacket with matching heels, proving that purple and green is indeed a workable look - especially in Manchester.

Diego Della Valle looked demure as ever, but the paps loved the man of the evening's long embrace with hostess Jade Jagger at the crushed entry. He's so proper - just like Tod's!

Adding to the arty energy was gallery director Iwona Blazwick literally holding court with an injured leg. Somehow she made being incapacitated - for what reason everyone forgot to ask - seem a bit ... cool? Why haven't they used that look on the runways?

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Jade Jagger & Diego Della Valle, Tod's Art Plus Film Party '08
Suggestions for next year are already swirling the rounds: since they've exhausted Art Plus Music, Drama, and Film it seems Art Plus Food could have a go. Let the lobbying begin for Jeff Koons constructing a 25 foot high blue marshmallow peep vs. chocolate kiddie-pool mud wrestling with Tamara Mellon! But that's only 'art' after the third drink.

The much anticipated event on the London social calendar raises much needed funds for the ongoing expansion of the Whitechapel, as well important educational programs for students in the city of London. The gallery has steadily sharpened over the last several years, and the run-up to the opening of the expanded gallery in 2009 will help to seal its role as a premier global destination for contemporary art. The Whitechapel has long been seen as a haven for emerging talent, and is known for early recognition of important artists.

As such, Hub Culture is a supporter of Art Plus, and a nod goes out to supporters from around the world who attended and contributed, including such London luminiaries as Isabelle de la Bruyere, Louise McKinney, Frits & Lauren Prakke, Andrew Glenn, Laura Harper-Hinton, Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, Charlotte Asprey, Eva Quirrenbach, Jeffrey Yeung, Alex Kirgiannakis and others.