On Friday night, following the opening of his exhibition at Ramis Barquet on West 24th Street, Rashaad Newsome, the feMC Maluca Mala (above right and left, respectively) and about 100 gallery-goers, plus a few curious onlookers from the fashion event across the street, filed through barricades into a dark lot beneath the High Line between 24th and 25th Streets filled with luxury cars and a booming sound system.
Newsome, who deploys the imagery of hip-hop excess in collage and video art, was diminutive and dapper, dressed in a three-piece suit and acting as a hype man for the more theatrical Maluca Mala.
She paced the gauntlet between rows of luxury cars including Bentleys, Benzes and Teslas, one absurdly long braid (like, 10-feet-long) trailing behind her, and what looked like a Newsome-designed, rapper chain-inspired diamond piece in her hair.
The performance, which may have also been a music video shoot, lasted all of half an hour, with Maluca doing a couple of songs for the audience, a cross-section of the young and trendy, the gallery and art world workforce, and wealthy older men collectors.
This below-High Line lot clearly hadn’t seen so much activity in years, the ground crunchy with thick and uneven gravel underfoot, half the walls covered in old graffiti, the other half brand new cinder-blocks from an adjacent luxury condo.