DESIGN IN MIND: Despite sounding like a sign of these unsettling times, the restaurant formerly known as Happy Ending quietly reopened as Better Days earlier this month.
But the name change is meant to be an homage to New York City’s music incubators from the Seventies and Eighties. In its original incarnation, Better Days was a place for the disenfranchised to retreat and an escape for artists who danced away their troubles. Owner Oliver Stumm said he wants Better Days to be a neighborhood destination and haven for creatives, so featuring local artists was a natural step in fostering this type of environment.
With that in mind, an exhibition has been culled by Better Days owner Oliver Stumm, as well Rita Cruz, Luke Brown, Eddie Brannan and Skylar Pittman (whose day job is with Bruce Weber’s Studio Little Bear Inc.) The artists they selected are likely to be found at the dinery and downstairs club on any given day. Work from established ones like Jack Pierson, Maripol and Olaf Breuning are in the mix. On view through December, the exhibition will be featured in Better Days’ upstairs space. The downstairs lounge is slated to open Oct. 6.
Fittingly, in November Damiani will publish “Jack Pierson: The Hungry Years,” featuring a wide range of photographs he shot throughout the Eighties. Maripol made many of her New York connections working as the store manager of Fiorucci’s first store in the city. And restaurant-goers might recognize Breuning’s style from his work with Gucci, Hèrmes, Drake and others. Breuning’s next show bows at Kodama gallery in Tokyo on Oct. 21. The artist said he is shopping around for a publisher for the coffee-table book he is working on to showcase his Instagram posts of faces made with everyday objects.
There is also work from up-and-comers Timothy Uriah Steele, John Gordon Gauld and Davide Balliano. Pat McGrath is among the fans of Balliano, whose early days involved assisting Marina Abramović.