Even if you didn’t know where the Maddox Gallery was located on Beverly Boulevard, you could find it. A small, glowing, white space nestled in between furniture showrooms and clothing stores, the Maddox Gallery sign distinguishes itself with a blooming flower display, a refreshing and delightful note on Beverly Blvd.
Those flowers stood out as the Maddox Gallery came alive on Thursday, October 11th. Camera flashes lit up the street as the gallery held its VIP Grand Opening with the Best of the British Exhibition. Hosted by Petra Ecclestone and Sam Palmer, guests enjoyed unique pieces on display by British artists and sipped crafted cocktail by Guillotine Vodka.
Under the watchful eyes of Marc Quinn’s striking Heliosphere and amongst the photograph-ready backdrops of David Yarrow’s stunning black and white prints such as 78 Degrees North, celebrities and art lovers alike mixed and mingled. Noted guests included Paris Hilton, Hilton’s fiance Chris Zylka, David Hasselhoff, Eric Dane, Ed Westwick, Nicole and Larry English, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jesse Metcalfe, Scott Disick, Sophia Richie, and Robert Downey Jr.
In Los Angeles, art galleries serve as institutions to look both at each other and the art. This time, the outfits did not disappoint. The glitz and the glamour on display matched the gold of Damien Hirst’s “Forgotten,” one of the evening’s more popular pieces for photographs. The other frontrunner, the selfie-ready Never Ending Love, also by Hirst, provided a glass heart background complete with real butterflies. While an ever-present security guard was meant to protect the piece, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was also keeping a watchful eye on Banksy’s Winnie the Pooh and No Ball Games, displayed just a few yards over, just in case they self-destructed (they did not). Hirst’s butterflies were also on display near the front of the gallery, right next to the photographers and the Maddox backdrop, as dozens were secured onto a gun in case.
Guests were also treated to a number of memorable quotes courtesy of The Connor Brothers’ hand painted vintage paperbacks and printed posters, including: “The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue” and “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
And yes, while the stars were on full display at the Maddox Gallery, that didn’t stop a refocus on the art itself by Maddox Gallery’s creative director Jay Rutland (it is of note that Rutland is Petra Ecclestone’s brother in law). Midway through the evening, amongst the bustle, conversations, camera shutters, hugs, and champagne, Rutland hopped up on a chair to give a speech. He invited guests to return: “Hope you will all come back,” he said, before guests returned to mingling, photo-taking, and celebrating. With a notable celebrity turn out, it’s safe to say that they might.
Want to check out the art yourself? Head to the Maddox Gallery LA at 8811 Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood. Look for the flowers up top!
Paris, Petra and Chris all celebrated with an after party at sbe hotspot Doheny Room in West Hollywood following, dancing until 2 am with music by Bee Fowl.