New Art City

Matt Starr's Diet Cigarettes,

Matt Starr's Diet Cigarettes, 2014.

The oft-romanticized excesses of downtown are not what they used to be; these days, addictions are more likely to involve juice bars and SoulCycle than mind-altering substances. But models Carlos Santolalla and John Tuite are convinced that New York City is still the place to be for artists on the rise. In collaboration with DKNY, they’ve put together New Art City, a one-night-only group show of young artists at SoHo’s Safari Gallery on Thursday, August 28.

“The New York downtown art scene has always reflected the heartbeat of the city,” Donna Karan says. “It’s where young artists can push the envelope, experiment, and embrace new media."

Some of the artists, like Sandy Kim and Jeanette Hayes, have been around. But others, including the rapper A$AP Ferg, have never shown in New York. Matt Starr, also a newcomer on the scene, built an immersive 800-foot representation of a lifestyle brand with workout machinery and a juice fountain painted over in gleaming, sanitized white. “I can feel my skin glowing just watching people come out of Liquiteria,” Starr says. “There’s a lot of bingeing downtown, and I really want people to binge on this.”