Last Thursday, artist Lucien Smith presented Macabre Suite, an art installation/party to celebrate the revamping of the historic South Bronx Piano District. Hosted by Keith Rubenstein, the head of Somerset Partners, and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, the founder of the art gallery Studio 94, the party featured Smith’s work in a huge celebration of Somerset’s partnership with Chetrit Group to purchase and develop a part of the Harlem River.
Smith’s work during the event included bullet ridden burnt cars alongside oil paintings and videos. Macabre Suite also included a dance performance by Kobe Kanty influenced by traditional movements. Smith has been widely successful as an artist in the past few years–one of his pieces sold for $389,000 in 2014.
The party hosted celebrity stars such as current social media favorites Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, alongside artists and designers like Leo Villareal and Petra Collins. Musical guests ranged from Frankie Bones to Lucas Vercetti with a final performance by Travis Scott.
Guests had their range of food to choose from with food trucks from Roberta’s to Korilla BBQ outside the warehouse.
Rubenstein and Somerset Partners aim to transform the South Bronx into a cultural hub to reflect the city’s changing dynamics.
While a hashtag that sprung out of the event, #bronxisburning, has garnered controversy in its reference to tragedy in the Bronx, it appears as though the rebranding of the district is well underway.
-by Kari Sonde