Most people consider New York City’s art scene a legacy built over 60 years ago by the likes of Henry Darger, Skole Mitchell, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock. But there’s a new breed of artists who are redefining the meaning of contemporary art – producing more thought-provoking works that employ new technology, modernism, and color.
Fifty years after its publication, The New York Times bestseller Paper Tiger inspired creative juices for Lettice Sato (Lydian Swarovski), an artist who makes her living putting on special events and teaching hand painting to a wide variety of customers.
“I love paint, and I love art. I love being in a field. I love being where I belong,” said Sato.
Sato gets a lot of praise for her colorful abstract watercolors, and she has a strong commitment to not only teaching, but also serving the public.
“Tasty art done by candy people is exciting. I like the people who know more and who are really understanding how to use their art,” said Sato.
Laura Gilmer (L) and Alan Miller
Laura Gilmer (L) and Alan Miller
“As a teacher, I am very dedicated and I love to be at school. I don’t want to be on the street or in a field. I love the immediate gratification of my students,” said Nancy Ortberg, known for her black and white art with hand-painted chalk or watercolors, and for teaching art at Charter Oak Preparatory Academy in Nassau County.
“They have to understand what they’re getting into if they’re going to be an artist. They have to have a passion for it, an appetite. They have to have a desire. They have to have a drive. They have to be born to it. It’s about being in it, not just looking at it,” said Melissa Avila, chief curator of Sculpture Associates.
Interest in Sculpture Associations (SAA) has skyrocketed as it grows in popularity among millennials. The group was launched in 1958 and provides rental, display, and sale services for local artists, auctioning off donated and works donated by SAA members.
Keith Grossman, president of SAA, explained, “The focus is to support and support artists. We have a lot of clients in our gallery that have not found a fulltime gallery job. So they are bringing their works in. They are renting them for party decorating. We’re getting revenue. We’re bringing art to the public through all those ways.”
One of the groups that has been on the rise is Metropolitian Arts. It creates public art projects in various areas of the city. It is a non-profit program that advocates for the arts, giving students access to unique art experiences.
Zoë Thompson, and Igor Lankoz
Zoë Thompson (L) and Igor Lankoz
Metropolitian Arts is currently wrapping up A Cocktail Napkin, an artist-designed pop-up bar in the Lower East Side. It was designed by art students and 21 local artists, who each created a unique cocktail for a 1-by-1-foot tapestry.
The piece, which was created by emerging artist Zoë Thompson, was published in Frieze magazine this week. Thompson is known for her mid-century creations that use food and drink. This effort celebrates women artists.
Igor Lankoz, also known as “the Dirty Sailor” for his signature flamboyant style, was instrumental in bringing A Cocktail Napkin to life and is featured in the project.
In addition to creating unique art on canvas and canvas wall hangings, the Dirty Sailor is known for his creations, including the “Crystal Pearl Bubble Machine” and “The Macknick Fight.”
At over 21, Lankoz is still looking to conquer new challenges and has no plans of slowing down.
“I’m on a good train,” he said. “I am a bumblebee, going on all-new territory.”
For more on this story, visit foxnews.com’s MONEY MOVERS section.