Plastic Fantastic At Susanne Bartsch’s “Valley Of The Dolls” Halloween Party At MoMA PS1

Susanne Bartsch’s Valley of the Dolls Halloween party at MoMA PS1 delivered the full plastic fantasy once again with a menagerie of nightlife’s most extravagant muses, set to various dioramic displays arranged almost like rooms in a dollhouse.

Every year Barstch throws a Halloween party at MoMA PS1, which, as one of the largest and most premier national institutions dedicated to contemporary art, serves as the perfect setting for Bartschland’s menagerie of some of New York’s best visual artists, socialites, and nightlife muses: people who dress up almost every week, not just on Halloween. 

For me, attending the party with backstage access and having a rapport with so many of the artists I have respected for so long was a moment of ascendancy and a reminder of how far I’ve come. The long list of hosts and attendees included – just to name a few – icons such as Ryan Burke, Linux, Pissy Pussy, Muffy, Brandon Olson, J Rosa, Angel Rivers, Jessica Relinda, Princess of Chinatown, Jeffrey Scott, Bob Bottle, Vile Sanchez, Cami Montoya, CT Hedden, Kyle Farmery, Lola Von Rox, and Blaire Jirousek.

With such a heavily attended event full of people in looks for the Halloween festivities, I couldn’t possibly list everyone that made the party so memorable. It’s like when you know what people are capable of in their visual artistry, and then they all simultaneously show you exactly what they can do. As a photographer, it was optical overload. I was racing from place to place just trying to capture everyone I could before the end of the night, while finding time to enjoy myself and drink enough alcohol to really get the creative juices flowing.

I dressed as Andy Warhol, who more or less originated the propagation of the idea that anyone can win fifteen minutes of fame in a media landscape that thrives on promotability. He called his muses “superstars,” and in a way that’s exactly how I see so many of the people on the New York scene. Regardless of online following or social clout, Bartsch has a way of assembling parties full of people who know how to make life feel more exciting through their artistry and who create a sense of fantasy in everything they do.

Between the party at MoMA PS1 and the afterparty at Elsewhere in Brooklyn, the night’s festivities went on for a solid eight hours or more. It was a night of clowns eating goldfish on top of postal trucks, dolls in their boxes drinking beer, and a celebration of ourselves as works of art at the highest social level.

Mark Minton
Mark Minton