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East Village West's Manic Look at NYC Art, Fashion, Culture

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One of the funkier components of the art megapalooza Pacific Standard Time is the Royal/T exhibit, East Village West, that looks at the influence of California pop culture on the neo-Dada art movement. The exhibit opened on Saturday, making excellent use of the 10,000 square foot cafe, with large, very creatively curated installations, merchandise for sale, and of course, a very over-the-top party.

Saturday night's souiree featured cabaret singers, dancers, a practically obscene looking trough of donuts, and various grades of celebrities. Not only were exhibit curators Ann Magnuson and Kenny Scharf in attendance, but so too were Michael Pitt, Lisa Edelstein, Rose Apodaca?and lots and lots of semi-famous drag queens.

The exhibit is broad, rollicking and whimsical. It includes photos, fliers, paintings -- both real Basquiat works and a few "fake Basquiats" from Ann Magnuson, collages, and mannequins outfitted in finery from Clever Vintage. There are some special products available for sale, as well: In addition to Keith Haring totes, sweatshirts and t-shirts, there are a limited number of special Patricia Fields-designed clutches.

The crowd was one of the most diverse (and by diverse, we mean freaky) we've seen in a long time: young artsy/hipster types, middle-aged drag queens, little kids in Motorhead shirts, and actual veterans of the East Village, some looking much more the worse for wear than others. And it was PACKED: by the time the cabaret dancers in the silver lame ass-less chaps took the stage, the huge crowd was instructed to sit down on the floor, Indian-style, to accommodate the the throngs of people who just kept on coming.

The exhibit goes until December, and there's likely to be at least another party or two before it concludes. It's well worth your while to check it out.
· Royal/T Cafe [Official Site]