Volume 76, Number 35 | January 24 - 30, 2007

Villager photos by Jefferson Siegel

Council Speaker Christine Quinn and restaurateur and Gansevoort preservationist Florent Morellet at the opening of the “Icons” show, which includes portraits of both of them.

Meat Market ‘Icons’ are well done at Theory exhibit

By Lincoln Anderson

“Icons of the Meatpacking District,” artist Ruth Ro’s exhibit of new portraits of Meat Market movers and shakers, opened in the ground-floor retail store space of the new Theory building on Gansevoort St. last Wednesday evening.

An influential and stylish crowd of several hundred mingled and schmoozed, while enjoying the more than 30 colorful portraits displayed along one long wall of the store.

The subjects range from meat business owners, to new boutique and restaurant owners, to Friends of the High Line co-founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Robert Tierney and Amanda Burden, chairpersons of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Department of City Planning, respectively.

Joshua David, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, another Meat Market “Icon”
Sporting a Wendy O. Williams-style black Mohawk, Ro, who lives in Chelsea, explained at the opening that the colors she picked for the portraits — which she painted from photos she took of the individuals — were based partly on the feelings she got from the individuals’ personalities. For example, Tierney seemed very sunny and warm to her, hence, the vibrant yellow hue of his portrait. Burden, a polished blonde, naturally just had to be a white, Ro said.

Ro said she found Gifford Miller, the former City Council speaker, who also had a portrait in the show, a bit “hard to read,” as was Jim Capalino, a high-powered public relations spokesperson, another portrait subject.

The art opening coincided with the grand opening of the Theory store in its sleek new building. Andrew Rosen, Theory’s owner, was also in the “Icons” show, as well, and agreed to host the exhibit, which will stay up until March 1. Rosen noted to a fellow “Icon” that he had just bought Helmut Lang from Prada and is getting ready to relaunch it.

Jussara Lee, owner of a fashion boutique on Little W. 12th St.

Theory provided free clothes to the “Icon” subjects for the opening, which they got to keep, but, surprisingly, not all accepted the offer.

“I have enough clothes — and I couldn’t take the time away from the meat locker floor,” said John Jobbagy, owner of Jobbagy Meats.

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