“I’d say 80% of them live in Brooklyn – so that’s interesting,” said Patrick McMullan, of the young photographers he amassed for a weeklong exhibition at the Powerhouse Arena. “So they all knew how to get here.”
The photographer, best known on the celebrity and socialite party circuit, was leaning against a fire hydrant outside of the Dumbo bookstore last Friday night. The opening night party was winding down and more than a few ladies found the crowded, uneven sidewalk difficult to navigate in heels.
“Powerhouse has been great,” he continued, unprompted as is his signature. “This opportunity was an interesting opportunity and I said let’s do it. I knew the economy was bad, and it was going to cost me money, but we’re going to shoot some events with them in exchange for some stuff. We’re trying to work it out so it doesn’t cost us a fortune.”
Ever the salesman, this is Mr. McMullan’s first event in Brooklyn despite his many decades on the Manhattan party circuit. A native New Yorker – he was born and raised for a short time on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint – Mr. McMullan has spent the last 32 years living, and photographing, in Manhattan, famously getting his start on the dance floor of Studio 54.
“I’m a lover of Brooklyn, always,” he said. “I of course fall into the problem of how do you actually get here – if you could just jump off the bridge you’d be here, but it’s not that simple.”
Surrounded by friends and family, Mr. McMullan beckoned over his 21-year-old son Liam. “This is my son Liam, he’s a visual artist, singer and he’s in a new movie.”
That movie is Twelve, a new tale of prep school ennui and drug abuse currently filming around town. Directed by Joel Schumacher, the film is based on a novel of the same name by Nick McDonell.
“It’s the shear irony that I know the drug dealer,” said the younger Mr. McMullan, a youthful bleached-blonde version of Patrick, complete with fast-talking extroverted demeanor. “These kids that I grew up with, they had a book written about them and that book got adapted into the movie.
“Also, just the irony that there has to be like fifty policemen around to protect 50 Cent from, like, fans while he pretends to be a drug dealer,” he continued. “It’s like ridiculous; it’s very surreal to say the least.”
The film also stars Ellen Barkin, Keifer Sutherland and Rory Culkin. Though he headed out to Long Island for much of his time in high school, the younger Mr. McMullan casually boasted the stripes of the affluent and drug addled, suspiciously similar to those in the movie.
“My friends [went] to the fancy Upper East Side high schools, the kids I smoked weed with, you know, the kids I did drugs with, the reason I know the real White Mike,” he said before pausing. “White Mike and Chace Crawford are both in my phone.”
And was the younger McMullan enjoying the party?
“I just ate a mushroom earlier; I thought it would be a nice psychedelic fun filled evening.”