As we enter the gallery, a caterer hands us glasses of champagne. There's a hard-to-ignore glowing seven-foot structure covered by a sheet in the corner, and artfully placed champagne bottles decorate the room. Ruinart champagne house has sponsored artist Dane Storrusten's latest work, and they are sending his piece to Art Basel Miami Beach (aka "The Super Bowl of Art") in December. Partyers have assembled for the great unveiling.
Our presenter begins with a speech. She expresses the difficulty in selecting an artist to represent Ruinart, a process she describes as so laborious it somehow involves "popping Xanax like Tic Tacs." The sculpture—titled Erotic Celebration—is finally revealed, and quite honestly, it can only be described as a gigantic blowjob. There are mouths, lots of mouths, with lipstick and tongues and seven feet of spraying white liquid, which is glowing. The woman behind me ponders whom the mouths might belong to.
It occurs to me that not a single person has popped the cork off of a champagne bottle that evening, erotically or otherwise; I pose this problem to Storrusten. Artists, friends, family members, and the photographer are summoned for the idyllic celebratory photograph in front of the huge glowing ejaculating mouths. A man in front grabs a bottle of champagne and makes a big fuss of dramatically pulling out the cork... which falls unceremoniously to the ground. The bottle is only a prop, and there is absolutely nothing inside of it. It's okay, dude, it happens to the best of us.
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