On Wednesday night, at an opening party at Gucci’s Wooster Street store, Fran Lebowitz, Mickalene Thomas, and more guests swarmed around the woman of the hour, photographer Paige Powell. The party celebrated the release of her new book, Paige Powell, and unveiled an installation that she created especially for the Gucci store — a room where the walls, ceiling, and floor are covered in photographs she took of New York’s art scene in 1970s and ’80s. Many of the images show her close friends Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Stephen Sprouse.
Wearing a pink Gucci dress with a Canon camera draped around her neck, Powell said she felt overjoyed to be surrounded by so many old friends. “It feels like a wedding,” she told the Cut, standing under a disco ball that set the tone for the night. “I’ve never been married, but that’s what it feels like.”
While servers circled the room with fuschia cocktails and mini burgers, Powell recalled how when she moved from Portland to New York and started a job at Warhol’s Interview magazine, she used photography to join a community of artists who became like her family. Her installation is titled “Beulah Land” (a re-creation of a similar installation she made in the East Village in 1984) and will be on view at the Gucci store at 63 Wooster Street until May 17. Click through to see Polaroid images of the party by photographer Sabrina Santiago, in the gallery ahead.