“HOLD ME”: A Group Exhibition Celebrating Community and Creativity in Downtown Manhattan, With Domingo Zapata, Radhika Gupta-Buckely & More

What connects these artists is their shared experiences.

5 mins read
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 14: (L-R) Artists Evelyne Drouot, Domingo Zapata, Radhika Gupta-Buckley and Joaquín Ávila attend "Domingo Zapata Presents HOLD ME", exhibition featuring artists Domingo Zapata, Radhika Gupta-Buckley, Evelyne Drouot and Joaquín Ávila on December 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for JOPR )

Domingo Zapata Studios presented the group exhibition “HOLD ME,” featuring the work of globally recognized artists Radhika Gupta-Buckley (India), Evelyne Drouot (France), Joaquin Avila (Cuba), and Domingo Zapata (Spain), this week in New York City. 

The exhibition was hosted in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village on December 14th, where the guests and artists celebrated community, creativity, and collaboration, the thread stitching these diverse artists together. What connects these artists is their shared experiences. Although they hail from different corners of the world, they have been able to harmonize and work together. Each of these artists brings a profoundly personal global perspective to their art, which was evident at the one-night-only event that you couldn’t miss. 

The exhibition, hosted by Domingo Zapata, honored the shift and transformation the art scene has experienced over the past few decades. Somehow artists have come together in New York City. As Zapata puts it, “Downtown Manhattan has experienced a significant shift for the arts over the last two decades, yet, artists always find a way.” Zapata’s art has been collected by well-known figures such as George Soros, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Goldman Sachs. 

Guests enjoyed electric music that energized the room, accompanied by an array of refreshments. Some of the noteworthy guests at “HOLD ME” included Edwin Hodge (Actor, The Purge Franchise), Antoine Verglas (Photographer), Kelly Hughes (Model), Amber Wang (Model), Jessica Val Ortiz (Content Creator), Malik Roberts (Artist) and Vernon O’Meally (Artist).

Zapata comments on rallying these artists to be a part of the exhibition, “I selected these artists as a collective because their work evokes what I call sensation memory. It is visual storytelling that transcends time and space while bringing you into their own distinctive world,” Zapata continues, “Radhika examines the ongoing struggles of Indian women and peoples but with a unique, explosive approach to color. While it is specific, it speaks to global conversations for so many right now; Evelyn sees the world with heightened perception, and when she processes that through her own artistic lens, her fantastical animals and natural worlds become a collision of form, color, and fashion. For the viewer, it is a dream from which you don’t want to awake. Joaquin Avila is the new Jackson Pollock. He goes back to the past to bring that work to the future; that’s a conversation many people aren’t brave enough to have. [Joaquin’s art] is a movement of color that transports you into a beautiful trip.”

Drouot’s “Bird” series plays with the landscape of the subconscious. She casts bird-like figures front and center before fields of vibrant color. Each character is like a mythological figure, and her pieces embrace the sensations of the exotic world and beings she’s seen in her travels around the world. Gupta-Buckley’s art serves to educate and enlighten the audience on cultural issues, from equality and gender bias to sexuality and race; she aims to be a voice for the silenced and the oppressed. Zapata exposes his profoundly poetic imagination by incorporating mixed media into his work. He layers fantasy and reality, luring the viewer into his cosmically beautiful world. Zapata is inspired by his native Spanish culture and songwriting experiences. Lastly, Avila’s art is a contemporary rework of classic paintings, reviving the style of the masters of art history. He doesn’t just rework the traditional style; he brings them into the present with creativity, humor, and delicious irony that you have to see. 

Zapata concludes, “I think their human connection feeds their art. It is so beautiful. In a world of transactional relationships, they are true friends that have created a necessary support system for one another. Each of them creates work where the focus feels not like an object but a subject that is a part of each and every one of us.”

These artists pulled off an astonishing exhibition of art that you couldn’t look away from; indeed a night you had to see. Their work is available on their websites and social media pages. You won’t want to miss the next opportunity to see these artists come together.