The Real Deal New York

Celebs, industry bigwigs turn out for art-fueled Luxury Listings event: PHOTOS

Prominent designers, TV anchors and real estate players party inside artist Domingo Zapata's Gramercy Park triplex, featured in the latest issue

August 20, 2014 06:27PM
By Claire Moses

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There’s no need to exchange the city for the Hamptons if you’re looking for a good party in August.

Case in point: Luxury Listings NYC’s event on Tuesday night, which was held at artist Domingo Zapata’s Gramercy Park triplex. The event was sponsored by Keller Williams NYC and the Bracha Group.

Zapata, as well as his colorful, art-filled home, was featured on the cover of the July issue of Luxury Listingswhich is published by The Real Deal.

Guests came from all walks of professional life — from media personalities such as Fox’s Kim Guilfoyle and NBC’s Rob Schmitt to fashion designer Catherine Malandrino to Vanity Fair editor George Wayne and actress Michelle Rodriguez, along with scores of real estate executives and brokers. Musician Maxwell, Jersey Shore star Angelina Pivarnick and author Coerte Felske were among the guests as well.

Attendees roamed through Zapata’s studio and home, taking in his artwork, sipping on cocktails and eating gorgonzola-pistachio-covered grapes.

Zapata is no stranger to visitors at his sprawling 6,500-square-foot Gramercy Park pad.

“I like to do smaller get-togethers,” Zapata said while sitting on a leather couch and smoking a cigarette in the first floor library. “A lot of friends come by all the time. I have an open door policy.”

Zapata has received media attention for the star-studded salon style-soirees he holds at his home, and he has sold his art for six-figure sums to the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, George Soros and Pat Riley.

Malandrino, who just spent four days vacationing with Zapata at her home in St. Tropez in the South of France, has been to gatherings in the artist’s home many times before. In early June, a low-key dinner party with about 12 people in the backyard led to Zapata painting the guests’ clothes. Malandrino – who, as always, was wearing her own designs that night – said she now has two wearable pieces of Zapata art hanging in her closet.

“It was totally spontaneous — after a lot of champagne,” she said.

Zapata – who was dressed in casual shorts and a jacket covered in safety pins – has lived at the Gramercy Park location for about a year, he said.

“It feels like home,” said Zapata, who has resided in New York for 15 years. After having only one floor for both living and studio space at his former location on the Bowery, he said he can now move around more freely across three floors and a backyard.

Zapata uses the second floor ballroom – which overlooks the private park – as a studio. While the marble floor is covered up to allow for a thick layer of splattered paint, the ceiling looks more like a modern version of the Sistine Chapel, adorned by a large piece of his own art.

Zapata is getting ready for an exhibition of his work in Mexico City in early September. He also has a show in Geneva scheduled for November and will display his work at a Chelsea gallery in January.

Real estate execs who attended Tuesday night’s event included Town Residential’s President of Sales Wendy Maitland, Keller Williams NYC chairman and Bracha Group founder Ilan Bracha and Urban Compass president Leonard Steinberg.

Artists’ homes, Steinberg said, are always interesting. “They’re not looking for trends,” he said, but rather fill their spaces with things purely based on aesthetics. He likened Zapata’s home to a “Venetian palace.”

“It’s so dramatic,” the top broker said on his way out the door on Tuesday, “I love a home when it’s an experience.”

Others were equally impressed.

“I’d love to buy it,” said Khashy Eyn, founder and CEO of Platinum Properties.

Avi Voda, founder of Voda Bauer Real Estate, added: “This is every broker’s dream apartment.”

Zapata, who said he’s not planning on leaving his $27,000-a-month home any time soon, found the property with the help of “Million Dollar Listing New York” star Ryan Serhant.

“We were looking all over the city,” Serhant said at the Luxury Listings NYC party. Zapata, though, couldn’t find anything he loved among the roughly dozen locations they scoped out. But when Serhant found this property, he knew they had found a winner. “He didn’t respond like this to anything else … he fell in love with it.”

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