Eau de Hype: Francesco Vezzoli’s “Greed” at Gagosian in Rome.

Gagosian Rules: Patrons at the opening were only allowed to snap one picture of Vezzoli’s new fragrance. We took four, of course.  At least that’s when we stopped counting.  (All photos by San Suzie.)

What does Greed smell like? Last Friday night, half of Rome, eager to find out, trundled down to Gagosian to sample the new scent by Milan-based artist Francesco Vezzoli. You may be wondering what the hell perfume hawking is doing in a gallery. So are we. But because we’re suckers for public relations, we nonetheless trudged through the rain and rhinoed our way past a mob the likes of which we haven’t seen since we tried getting into the Vatican Museums on a Friday in July. (Seriously.) The big news: Turns out the perfume was a fake! Nothing inside but aqua colorata.

Even so, we had a great time seeing the local Roman celebs, not to mention Roman Polanski, who directed the fake infomercial video that we got to see before we made it over to the tinted holy water. Our verdict? The idea is a rehash of pieces by Marcel Duchamp and, more recently, by Bulgarian-born, New York-based artist Daniel Bozhkov — with the addition of annoying needlepoint appropriations of female artists’ faces. We did, however, really enjoy the stylish, bordello-red drapes. They gave us the sensation of being someplace really special. Like the Vatican.

Click on images to supersize. Much more (including Roman Polanski) after the jump.

This is how it all began: with a very, very long line.

Roman Polanski arrives for the outside-of-American-jurisprudence premiere of his fake perfume commercial, then takes off without even getting past the door. Yes! I am a lowbrow paparazzi

Holy Don’t-Cry-For-Me-Argentina, Batman! The NY Times referred to the red velvet curtain décor as “giving the room a certain Fascist splendor.”

Oh, the anticipation: The fake commercial begins!

A fake perfume ad demands the finest fake actors. Here Michele Williams flashes a doleful look while taking hold of Natalie Portman’s magnum of Greed, which ensues in a

…cat fight!!!! AKA Nat using her fists to say hands-offa-my-Greed-you-puttana, aka the money shot. It’s a wrap, people!

The perfume is making her think…about buying another necklace.

Appropriated artist needlepoints, starting with Georgia O’Keeffe.

More artist appropriation, over-appropriated Mexican artist edition.

Tears of shame: Louise Nevelson.

The crowd takes in the breath-taking array of inventory.

The best thing we saw all night: This smokin’ leopard-print coat.

* * *

And because we can never leave well enough alone: Our extra, illegitimate pictures (in excess of the ration of one) of Vezzoli’s Greed…

This was the last frame we shot before the Italian beefcake in the shiny suit told us, “Basta, vai via!”  Or something like that.


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