South O’ the Highway

Robert Downey, Jr. Attends the 24th Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction

New Hamptons homeowner Robert Downey, Jr. attended Robert Wilson‘s 24th Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction this past weekend on Saturday, July 29, where he helped honor French actress Isabelle Huppert. Laurie Anderson was also honored. Here’s the scoop on the fab evening.

According to Page Six, the gala employed some heavy security measures, with policemen donning machine guns in bulletproof vests standing guard. Some apparently thought two officers was part of the Watermill Center’s art installation, but they were actually part of a new counterterrorism unit that will see officers at high-profile public events. The initiative was introduced by Southampton Town police chief Steven Skrynecki.

There were 1,200 people at the annual event, which featured performance art, installations and more. An awards dinner followed, honoring Huppert and Anderson, and paid tribute to the late Lou Reed (Anderson’s husband). WWD reports that the benefit, “Fly Into the Sun,” had a very specific “dark shiny matter” dress code. Performance artists were staged in various areas of the center, including Daniel Monroy Cuevas, Rachel Frank, Stephen Shanabrook and others.

There was also an art auction. Downey, Jr. at one point grabbed the mic from auctioneer Simon de Pury and offered to take a selfie with someone for $5,000. The evening raised $2 million for the Artist Residency and Education Programs at the center.

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