Art and shopping come together

April 20, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
Art and shopping are converging in a new exhibit that's on display in a clothing store. Eyewitness news reporter Lauren Glassberg has a look at the unique way it was created.

The artist has exhibited around the world, including MOMA, but working in a boutique was a new experience for him. The results gave shoppers something else to try on.

In a city where stores try to get the most bang for their square footage, the Theory Store in the meatpacking district is making room not for merchandise, but for art.

Crews have constructed a mini airplane hangar, in which the artist David Ellis will paint.

"It's a time-based media project," producer Matthew Mascotte said. "The painting takes course over the course of several days, which from an endurance standpoint is really complicated and difficult for him. And from a technical standpoint, it requires lots of set up."

Every six seconds, an overhead camera snaps a photo. Those photos are edited into a movie, which will play alongside the finished painting. Theory's CEO invited David to participate in the Theory Icon Project, which celebrates the arts and projects that make a difference.

"I think David is one of those guys that has the guts and the creativity to do something a little different," CEO Andrew Rosen said. "And it's inspiring."

Amazingly, just when it looks like David has finished his painting, he covers the canvas and starts again. Time-lapsed video reveals the process.

"You get a glimpse not just of the finished product, but of the journey it took to get there," Mascotte said.

And during a break in that journey, David makes the most of his time by simultaneously getting his hair cut and giving us an interview about how he approaches his work.

"I think I approach it more like the way a musician would approach it," he said. "It's not like I want to hear the same thing over and over. I want to have some segways."

It certainly isn't the same thing over and over, not for the artist, nor for the boutique.

"The shoppers are here to shop, and we're here to make art," David said. "And somehow, these things were allowed to collide."

Ellis' work is being shown at the Theory Store until June 2. For more information, visit