Feature on Laney Degrasse (laneydegrasse) and her show, "Who Does This!?"
Artwork by: Hannah Hotchkins @hannahotchkiss
Videography and edits by: Travis Monahan
New York City is no stranger to the art world. The heavily populated city is known to house various museums and galleries that are produced and curated by many different talents.
Laney DeGrasse is a 22 year-old Houston native living in New York City. With 40,000 followers on instagram and appearances in magazines such as Galore and Cosmopolitan, DeGrasse is easily seen as an established model.
However, the extremely down-to-earth model is currently in pursuit of a different dream. DeGrasse has recently began a career in the art world and hosted one of her first shows titled ‘Who Does This?!.” Taking place in Brooklyn, NY at the New York Studio factory, the show included 16 different artists-- all of DeGrasse’s close friends. These artist ranged from all styles and included everything from paintings, photographs and even a leather clothing line. One artist named Hannah Hotchkins, who's work is featured in the introduction video, presented a short film at the show. This film takes audiences through a 'day-in-a-life' story of a woman topped with a werewolf head. According to the artist, this piece portrays more of an angsty route of femininity. (the full video can be seen here)
Backed with dj and wine, the event called for a warm and welcoming atmosphere on a cold New York day.
Although she has what it takes to be a successful model, a career in art appeals more to DeGrasse as she claims it’s more genuine and stable. On surface level, modeling seems to be a career that not many people would reject as it’s portrayed as undoubtedly glamorous. DeGrasse argues against this and reveals her own upsetting experiences with the industry. DeGrasse sums up her experiences and how she eventually became tired of the constant disappointment that comes with modeling.
“They would say something like ‘you're too short’ or ‘your body is disproportionate’. And because of that, the dream of modeling for these companies I wanted to work with, went straight into the toilet. I just wasn't happy.”
Regarding her own art, DeGrasse discusses how her inspirations are drawn from one simple entity: life. She takes inspirations from her own experiences, emotions and perspectives and translates these elements into her own work.
“When I'm walking around, I just people watch and imagine what everyones lives are like. Something you hate about your life, someone else might be dying for.”
In a certain piece, DeGrasse shares how her emotions after one of her relationships ended drove the color and shapes within the piece. She explains how there was no particular plan for the piece and everything came together in a spur of the moment.
In addition to curating art galleries and producing her own artwork, DeGrasse recently launched her own clothing line. This line is reflective of her style of work, taking prints from her past work and placing it onto certain clothing styles. Again, the artist pushes inclusivity that are “made for all shapes and sizes.”
Her clothing line can be found here.
Article by: Isiah S Magsino
Photography by: Loli Laboureau
Videography edits by: Travis Monahan