“I turned the penthouse of The Bowery in to my studio … I have a studios in Paris and L.A., so I go back and forth,” Domingo Zapata said as he moved intimately among a crowd of familiar faces. If upstairs was the studio, then the second floor of the hotel was his gallery space. Large canvases of his art, all paying homage to American pop culture, were on display—works exhibiting a distinctly playful nature, exemplified best by a painting of Superman flashing a peace sign, proclaiming he was available for hire.
“I love sharing my work with my friends. It’s intense, but good.”
With friends like his—a bevy of beautiful muses including the likes of Kim Kardashian, Eva Longoria, Lindsay Lohan and attendee Sofia Vergara—he’s not exactly lacking in inspiration.
Ms. Vergara, wearing a faint-inducing mini-dress, shared the red carpet with Mr. Zapata, without her new fiancé Nick Loeb. She did manage to find time to take a few (more) photos with Mr. Zapata, though. The room abuzz, packed with buyers and boozers alike, we squeezed through the wall-to-wall crowd, taking in Mr. Zapata’s whimsical interpretations.
“I wanted to do a tribute to the Bowery and East Village and Manhattan and the graffiti that you see around the city. I also love movies and classics like Superman and Pink Panther. These represent all that coming together.” Keen to express his broader artistic philosophy, he continued, “there is not such a thing as good art or bad—there are 50,000 artists in New York City. It’s not about the quality, its about the creation; without creation we don’t even exist.”
Outside, a beautiful fall evening beckoned, with gorgeous women and cocktails abounding. Was tonight to be all work?
“We are going to a place called Provocateur in the Meatpacking District—it’s going to be a long night.”
Was this a common occurrence?
“There are 12- to 14-hour days where I’m painting. I have a lot of projects coming up; for instance, I’m working on paintings for the lobby of the World Trade Center.”
We left the artist to his own—which was cozily in the middle of a ever-growing crowd holding out hands to shake his—wondering if we were worthy of his canvas.