You might not be able to get into his clubs, but you’re welcome to attend his art show. Nightlife impresario Paul Sevigny will be showing his paintings publicly for the first time tonight at Cafe Henrie on the Lower East Side.
Sevigny is best known as a DJ, the proprietor of the legendary Beatrice Inn and exclusive boîtes like Paul’s Cocktail Lounge and the relaunched Sway, a member of noise band A.R.E. Weapons, and the brother of Chloe Sevigny. But he actually went to art school and has been painting over around two decades, said Bill Powers, owner of Half Gallery and curator of tonight’s show.
“I saw some work that he had at his house in Connecticut that was more figurative and he was working in oils back then,” Powers said. “Now, because they have little kids, he’s working with acrylic, which is new to him, so they don’t have toxic fumes in their home.”
Sevigny titled the show Sunday Painter because he made all of the work at home, Powers believes. “Even though he went to art school and is formally trained, maybe for the last two years he’s been approaching it more as a hobby.”
Sunday Painter, held at the André Saraiva-owned Cafe Henrie, will feature around a dozen paintings, all from 2017. “There’s some that are a little more monochromatic that we’ll probably have on one wall across from others that are more colorful,” Powers said.
“He said to me that he thinks of himself more as a painter than an artist,” Powers said. “Which I like, because his emphasis is on the materiality and the expressive quality and I think he’s sensitive to the fact that the art world can be suspect of interlopers or people that have a profile in another creative arena.”
The showing will be from 7 to 11 p.m. tonight only, said Powers, who is producing a series of one-night showings at Cafe Henrie over the following months. The inaugural show, last month, showcased works by Brooklyn-based painter Austin Eddy.
“The one-night-only series was a way for us to work with new people where – usually we’re booked up a year in advance for our programming schedule – this is a way to have a spontaneity and fun in what we’re doing,” Powers said.