Equinox Celebrates Pride and Explores ‘The Disappearance of the Binary’ With Work From Major Artists

Inclusivity is a recurring theme in Equinox’s advertising and social media channels, so it’s no stretch that the fitness company is celebrating Pride Month in an artistic way.

The company has rolled out Equinox “Between You & Me: The Disappearance of the Binary,” an exhibition and benefit auction that plays up LGBTQIA+ artists. The curation is being handled by Shai Baitel, the artistic director of The Modern Art Museum Shanghai and art entrepreneur, with support from Christie’s. An inveterate presence in the global art scene, Baitel is also the cofounder of Mana Contemporary.

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More than 20 works are up for grabs from such major league talents as Steven Klein, Marina Abramovic, Sir Isaac Julien, David LaChapelle, Yael Malka, Nevot Miller and others. They are on display at the Auction Collective, presented by Christie’s. The benefit auction will run from June 18 through July 2. As the exhibition’s name implies, the underlying message of “Between You & Me: The Disappearance of the Binary” delves into the different ways in which contemporary LGBTQIA+ artists address the breadth of identities, communities and expressions within the LGBTQIA+ experience. Announcing the new initiative, Equinox referenced how the contemporary LGBTQIA+ movement “has never been so simultaneously united and divided — and the exhibition aims to highlight the diversity and complexity of these queer experiences, while imagining a new and inclusive queer future.”

Steven Klein's work
Steven Klein’s “Bondage Warriors.”

In keeping with that openness, from June 26 to 30, members of the general public can check out the exhibit at High Line Nine in New York City’s West Chelsea neighborhood — not too far from Equinox’s corporate office and the Equinox Hotel at Hudson Yards. The gallery is located at 507 West 27th Street.

With 100 elevated fitness clubs that offer a range of high-performance and group classes and spa services, Equinox is suitably infusing physical fitness into its Pride initiative. Proceeds from the benefit auction will support Camp Felix Pride, The Felix Organization’s ground summer camp for LGBTQIA+ youth that include individuals, who are in the New York City foster care system

Having been a key part of the Equinox corporate team since its inception 33 years ago when it was a family-run business, Equinox’s senior vice president of communications, events and philanthropy, Judy Taylor has not only seen the company evolve into a health and wellness juggernaut, but also how its incorporation of art, luxury and fashion has enhanced its branding. Perhaps more than anyone, Taylor understands that Equinox “has a history of partnering with iconic artists, who spark important conversations that resonate with the artistic and cultural zeitgeist,” she said. “By showcasing the work of leading LGBTQIA+ artists and photographers, this exhibit offers our community a differentiated experience that extends beyond the four walls of our clubs and continues our tradition of contributing to the broader artistic and cultural discourse.”

Highlighting how the LGBTQIA+ community continues to evolve, Baitel said, “It’s fascinating how artists are reflecting these changes in their works. Through their powerful art, these artists are allowing us to see their most personal perspective.”

Pool at Equinox Hotel.
The pool at Equinox Hotel in New York City.

To help spread the word with its members and beyond, Equinox is flagging the exhibition with digital signage in its clubs internationally that will plug the online auction, exhibit, artists and The Felix Organization. As of mid-June, the auction will be live on both the Christie’s and Auction Collective sites.

Baitel said, “’Between You and Me’ is not a taxonomy, but a survey and a cross section of contemporary queer art making.”

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