Last week, a gallery and bar on the Lower East Side—called, appropriately enough, Gallery Bar—played host to a style installation by the 33-year-old artist Damon Johnson. The choice of neighborhood was key. “The Beautiful Chaos: A Style Installation,” which attracted a scarf-heavy crowd who guzzled red and white wine while dodging multiple photographers, was an homage to a bygone era for Orchard Street, when the graffiti was authentic and street art meant something.
“I thought about doors on the Lower East Side covered in stickers—what the LES used to be,” Mr. Johnson told the Transom, standing in front of one of his neon-hued creations. “It’s like New York City for real, going back to that sticker and skateboard culture.”
Mr. Johnson, who is 6-foot-4 and has red hair, is New York royalty of a sort. His father, Richard, is the former Page Six czar and current dean of the Daily’s scandal coverage. His stepmother, Nadine Johnson, oversees a fashion-and-lifestyle PR company.
Her firm doesn’t represent the artist, but it helped out a bit with the reception.
Mr. Johnson originally took up residence in the neighborhood surrounding the gallery in 2004, he said, before it became a tourist hub. “The Lower East Side was more fun then.”
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