April 18, 2016

Seen at The Eye

What went down at The Joule’s famous party.

A closing ceremony for the Dallas Art Fair for the third year running, The Joule’s The Eye Ball welcomed well-heeled natives and tourists alike to dance beneath the watchful gaze of Tony Tasset‘s iconic sculpture on Saturday night.

This year, a tunnel striped with an optical pattern served as the entrance for the annual fete, which was filled with surprises. A small preview of things to come, the mesmerizing black and white hallway became the de-facto step-and-repeat for professionals and amateurs. Once all the selfies and portraits were snapped, guests like “Modern Luxury” editor Nadia Dabbakeh, Forty Five Ten owner Brian Bolke, and Dallas Contemporary Executive Director Peter Doroshenko made their way into the center of things, a large vaulted tent decked out to match this year’s magical theme.

Inside the party, a suite of new tricks was waiting to be discovered. DJ Sober spun tunes while world-renowned magicians from the Magic Castle in Los Angeles entertained the six hundred guests with sleight of hand and mind reading. The interactive photo booth, which gave guests a chance to create their own illusion with the help of some fully suited figures, was a smash hit. They weren’t the only ones wearing costumes. Every bartender, server and performer got in on the act. The circular bar was decorated with surrealist living statues—many of whose faces were masked by towering hairdos and feathered headdresses. When approaching the illuminated bar, one guest asked a face-painted bartender. “What do the W’s on your cheek stand for?” Forming his mouth into an O, the server answered with a “Wow.”

Things reached a fever pitch when the night’s surprise act, My Brightest Diamond (a.k.a. Shara Nova), took the stage. Her act, which captivated partygoers, included two original songs for the event, plus pyrotechnics, tricks, and more all in front of Tasset’s Eye.

The dance floor filled up quickly much to the surprise of the out-of-towners like New York-based art dealer Peter Makebish who was hanging with his fiancée and model Bridget Hall on the periphery. “In New York, people will stand around pretending to dance, but in Dallas, people actually get down and enjoy themselves,” Makebish said. “It’s a refreshing change of pace.”

Makebish wasn’t the only one with enthusiasm on his lips. Collector Christen Wilson shared her love for the event, saying, “The Eye Ball is always the last stop for the Dallas Art Fair, it’s where you connect with friends and catch up on what you’ve seen and who you missed. As more and more guests arrived the tent heated up, the cereal milk and fortune cookie flavored ice cream became a necessary indulgence.

At the end of the evening, guests made their way to Midnight Rambler for either a nightcap or to keep the party going. And while there were many surprises surrounding this year’s Eye Ball, one thing wasn’t a secret—the party was a complete success.