An artist infiltrates The Hamptons’ cult of wellness

Emily Gallagher, Document Journal, July 29, 2019

The Whitney Biennial-featured artist Ilana Harris-Babou uses the Hamptons and Restoration Hardware as anthropological playgrounds.

It's a hot, bright summer afternoon in Amagansett Square-a grassy knoll behind the Hamptons town's Main Street, where boho mommy chic boutiques like Ulla Johnson intermingle with a natural skincare apothecary purveying serums, dry brushes, and jade rollers. There is a yoga studio too, that Paul McCartney is rumored to frequent, with a book selection that features the writings of presidential hopeful and Oprah's spiritual advisor, Marianne Williamson. Something is palpably in the air here- it might be the palo santo, but could I be at the frontier of luxury wellness?

I catch artist Ilana Harris-Babou post-yoga, eating dosas with artist Virginia Lee Montgomery. I wonder if she is in deep cover, or just living her life. I assumed it's a bit of both. Harris-Babou explains that she and Montgomery are doing a summer residency nearby, and extends an invitation to stop by.


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