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Who's hanging out at DTLA galleries' sister spaces in NYC

Illustrations by Alex Tatusian


Even a year ago, you might have confused your Uber driver by directing her across the LA River to the intersection of S Mission Road and Boyd Street in the early evening hours; too early for a warehouse rave, too late to be conducting import/export shipping business. But Downtown’s industrial periphery now houses many galleries with large, flexible spaces in reclaimed warehouses that butt up against train tracks, strip clubs and Budweiser distribution trucks.

With digs like these, galleries have not just ample room and sumptuous Southern California light, but manage to draw crowds to their isolated locales with programming like group meditation and mimosas on Sunday mornings, gender-bending strip shows and free gourmet barbeques with plenty of vegan options for Ellen Page—who you may run into while the chef explains what part of Argentina the steaks were flown in from.

While the Los Angeles art scene offers obvious appeal for galleries like these, several of them have more established homes in another arts-focused region: crowded, competitive New York City. Where they lack in event accommodations and spatial flexibility, they succeed in drawing wealthy buyers and ordinary pedestrians alike from the busy sidewalks of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Here’s a look at these Downtown LA galleries’ counterparts in New York City through the characters that frequent them, as drawn by Alex Tatusian.