A small crowd on Tuesday evening was waiting for an elevator in the lobby of 44 W. 18th Street when the doors opened and out walked a woman, who took one look at the eclectically dressed group and said,”You’re going to love it.” “It” was the opening of Rebecca Moses’ “White Shirts” exhibition at Ralph Pucci Gallery Nine.
The artist was stationed in front of the long wall covered with 36 of her paintings of women wearing white shirts. The women in the paintings represented a range of ages, sizes, shapes and ethnicities.
Other women painted by Moses who are part of the show turned up wearing –— what else? — white shirts. There was Pooja Tripathi, an American-born Indian classical violinist and filmmaker; Dionne van den Berg; and wearing a black hat, Omenaa Boakye, a stylist and editor.
“I met them last year,” Moses said. “I wanted to show the multiracial, multi-age, multisize, multi-everything so people could see women from all aspects. They’re all interesting women from so many different cultures. They’re determined, well-mannered and focused, and nothing is going to hold them back.”
While Moses has a big family, many of whom were there, she adds to the brood. “Nelly Boudin is a muse who I met when I was living in Italy. I kind of adopted her. Her look is so incredibly striking.”
Model Adesuwa Aighewi, who was in Paris for the couture shows and expected to stay there, surprised Moses by attending. “I called her my new child. She has a mission. She wants to empower people and tell stories and do good things in this world.”
Guests from Moses’ fashion past included Charlotte Neuville. “She’s an artist of pastry now,” Moses said. “Let’s talk about reinventing.” Also, model Bethann Hardison, and Coco Mitchell, a muse and model.
Then there was the woman she met on Instagram, who is from Africa, a pen pal of sorts for four years. “She flew over from Africa just to come to the show,” the artist said. “She said she had to see my work in person. I was so emotionally moved by that.”