NEW YORK – Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and guests can line up to attend Big Liar Anna Sorokinaka “Anna Delvey” — The fake German heiress is known for swindling high-end hotels, restaurants, and more or less the entire elite social scene in New York.
participated reluctantly SoHo Liar I was about 40 minutes late for an event at the Manhattan public hotel lounge because I was alone. After riding the neon-lit escalator, I heard loud, reverberating music before I even entered the lounge and saw a long line of customers getting ready to line up to enter the party.
“Is it like this since 7:30? Like, a non-stop party? Or quieter?” I asked the security.
“Yes, from the beginning,” he replied.
Shortly after my arrival, an automated message from the Orange County Correctional Facility came over the lounge speaker: “This is a collect call from ‘Anna’, an inmate from the Orange County Jail. To answer this call, Please press zero. To decline this call, hang up or press one.”
As the audience erupted into cheers, the DJ asked customers to quiet down. Attendees were waiting for a call from Sorokin himself. Sorokin was found guilty in April 2019 Eight counts, including theft of service and grand larceny in the second degree, resulted in sentences ranging from four to 12 years in prison.
As the inspiration for Shonda Rhimes’ “Inventing Anna” on Netflix, and an article that is now widely circulating new york magazine, Anna Sorokin quickly became a household name — or at least Anna Delvey did. she was released Parole February 2021but the following month, she was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and she was still there, facing deportation.
Despite her previous fraudulent activities, she was able to display nearly $500,000 worth of “artwork” for personal gain while black and brown ICE detainees suffered undue suffering with higher bonds for lesser crimes. Aside from the haphazard nature of Thursday’s event itself, what puzzles me is why anyone — especially a woman with a reputation for good taste like Sorokin — would be proud to show these basic sketches to the public . Sorokin’s “art show” was nothing more than a representation of white people at work.
Of course, luxury abounds when whiteness and unfettered wealth (or, rather, untraceable wealth) are combined. This is not the art viewing atmosphere I imagined. I figured I would walk into a gallery space, get a descriptive brochure and a drink, and peruse the room. However, by Sorokin’s standards, the event seemed normal.
There’s a full open bar in the back, and the lounge is packed with guests of all kinds: members of the media, fascinated fans, people clearly trying to impress each other, influencers or just having fun getting there. (apparently there are Waitlist for this event, according to the Founders Art Club website. )
I asked a guy what got him on the show. “I know Peter,” he said, as if I should know who it was. People are focused on the front, phones and champagne glasses in hand. The cocktail of the night was “Anna on Ice” without actual ice.
Sorokin’s voice spoke to the audience. “Hi everyone, this is Ana Delvi. I hope you’re all having a good time so far. I’m excited to launch my first art collection called ‘Allegedly,'” she captioned her ambiguous European accent said. “I wanted to capture, with the limited tools I had at my disposal, moments from the past few years that were both unprecedented and iconic. Some parts were simple. Others were more abstract, both in meaning and appearance to the observer. is unique.”
The message continued: “I studied fashion illustration in Paris and didn’t really sketch until I was on trial. You’ve heard a lot, but this is the beginning of my story, and I tell my story from my point of view. I hope You guys love this show.”
The music kicks in – Kanye West and Dwele’s “Flashing Lights” – and the show begins. We were instructed to clear a road. Over the next 10 to 15 minutes, the models produced 20 sketches. The models were dressed in black with black stockings tied around their heads. Wearing oversized sunglasses, they paced the dimly lit room. I was overwhelmed by the drawing that might have barely passed the College Board’s AP Art exam, but the fans devoured it all.
A black-and-white sketch titled “Delvi Crime” was modeled on the front page of a newspaper with the headline “‘Threat to Public Safety’ Returning to Detention,” while Sorokin lingered on a bed like a teenage girl in a Dior dress. Another piece, “Anna on Ice,” shows Sorokin floating on a yellow iceberg with a DHS glacier in the background.
Her sketch, “Retired Intern,” depicts Sorokin in an Oscar de la Renta gown (whom she notes she’s wearing a variety of clothes) on a balcony overlooking a body of water. Sorokin’s fourth painting depicts Dr. Phil. The piece is titled “Dr. PPPhil Gains” and a segment of the show is called “The Many Faces of Anna Delway.”
After the parade, we were directed to the second part of the show – the unveiling ceremony on the 17th floor of the hotel. For the next 15 minutes, a crowd impatiently gathered in the foyer, blocking the escalators and preventing actual hotel guests from going back and forth. A security guard told an aggressive attendee that the art show was secondary to him: “I care about the hotel.” Waiting by the elevator, I saw event staff, possibly members of Sorokin’s large team, Bring the artwork upstairs.
At 8:51 p.m., I got in the elevator and was finally allowed on to the official art show – apparently the sketches shown by the models were just an appetizer. The 17th floor has more drinks and leads to a large room with 20 works of art on easels. Basking in the calm before the storm, which I will definitely follow, I walk around and take pictures of the sketches.
Each piece is signed in cursive script in the upper right corner: “Anna Delvey, OCJ, New York 2022.” Given Sorokin’s history, let’s say embellishment, it is unclear whether the sketches were actually done by her. It’s also unclear who funded the entire campaign, and whether Sorokin actually studied fashion illustration, as she claims.
As I was walking around, I eavesdropped. A woman approaches a member of Sorokin’s team. “We call at 9:30, right?” she asked, with a hint of contempt. If they can alleviate some of the detention centre’s connectivity issues, it will be around then, members of the team said. Currently, she “just wants to make an Instagram acquisition for Anna”.
Tired of standing and waiting, I sat on a chair outside the showroom. Slowly, more and more people began to arrive. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a participant, a white woman, speaking into the camera of a nearby photographer.
“I did a lot of research and felt very close to her,” the woman said. “She gave everyone that confidence and that’s why she shouldn’t be convicted of any crime.”
I didn’t have the capacity to sympathize with Sorokin in the first place, but as a journalist I’m curious to see how this art show came together. But after spending an hour among people who seemed to worship her without question, I was officially full.