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Plat 99 Artist Jorge Pardo Descends on Indy

A native of Cuba, he talked on his works that have appeared in Copenhagen, Los Angeles, and Indy, as art-lovers and stylish types united at The Alexander.

He stood outside on the patio of Plat 99, seemingly hiding from the crowd of Indianapolis art patrons and connoisseurs who stood inside the colorful lounge and sipped colorful cocktails. The sun was setting on the first day of a fresh month. Its rays streamed through the largely open windows on Friday, illuminating the brilliant lanterns that hovered overhead and dancing with the vibrant patterns of tiled floors that climb up the columns in the room.

Jorge Pardo’s nerves appeared to calm a bit as he re-entered the bar, his outfit—blue pants, white button-up, and navy jacket—a cool complement to the warming atmosphere. It looked as though the Cuban-born artist was back in his native land, in a Havana nightclub, in lieu of Indiana, where he found himself fighting the dropping temperature like everyone else.

A number of attendees, whether in homage to Pardo and his love of color or else seeing the evening as a chance to break away from typical Midwestern style, broke out some of their more fashionable wear, including one woman in a vintage-y purple dress and another, the always-stylish Deborah Dorman, sporting a slick hairstyle and sunglasses.

Pardo began his talk on Friday night by taking to an Apple laptop and making his way through a few slides that spoke to some of his older works done in European cities such as Copenhagen. He then crossed the waters in his speech and talked about his stateside work, including his own house in Los Angeles, which was exhibited as a work of art for five weeks in 1998 by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He jokingly said it was hard to get some of that museum's board members to agree to build an artist’s house. (Pardo's visit was sponsored in part by the Contemporary Art Society of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.)

After the talk, those who craved an even more intimate experience with the artist, and were willing to pay the extra $75 for the opportunity, trickled downstairs to Cerulean and enjoyed a menu customized for the evening at hand.