Paying tribute to two worthy individuals while also raising much-needed funds, the 2011 LACMA Art + Film Gala was held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Saturday night (November 5).
With this year's honorees being Clint Eastwood and artist John Baldessari, the swanky affair was co-chaired by Leonardo DiCaprio and Eva Chow while collecting cash for "the museum’s recently reenergized film program, which now includes exhibitions, acquisitions, educational programming, screenings, and a series called Live Read created by Jason Reitman."
Also in attendance at the LACMA event were big names such as Zac Efron, Nick and Joe Jonas, cute couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, Armie Hammer, Chris O'Donnell, Ryan Kwanten, James van der Beek, Kevin Connolly, Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, Mickey Rourke, Jack Black, Balthazar Getty and "Mad Men" co-stars Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss.
Speaking about the choices in Eastwood and Baldessari, Miss Chow told press, "We are honoring two incredible men at the Art + Film Gala: Clint Eastwood and John Baldessari."
Eva continued, "Clint Eastwood is such an amazing filmmaker. I can’t think of anyone who can cross over between the front and back of the camera at the level he’s been doing it for most of his life. I think he represents the word “cool,” and I can’t believe we are fortunate enough to honor him at our first gala."
LACMA Director Michael Govan added, "I wanted to structure it as honoring a great filmmaker and honoring a great artist working here—to give a sense that this is what this community is right now. Clint came to speak at LACMA last year, and he expressed his personal support for the film program when he was here."
Mr Govan concluded by telling, "As far as John Baldessari, he’s another artist who has sort of a senior status in Los Angeles. He’s been an inspiration to so many younger artists, and of course John has interspersed movie culture in his work from the very beginning. You look at his work from the ’80s and ’90s, and he would go to the movie studios and grab all of the stills that were inexpensive because they weren’t identified and put them into pictorial compositions. Those two characters, Clint and John, have also been mentors for a lot of other younger actors, artists, and filmmakers, so we thought it was perfect to honor them."