LOWER EAST SIDE — An exhibition that “celebrates red-haired male beauty" is one of more than 30 shows visitors can check out during the third annual LES Opening Night Art + Fashion event hosted by the Lower East Side Business Improvement District.
“RED HOT,” which opened Wednesday night at BOSI Contemporary on Orchard Street, features more than 120 portraits and four videos of bare-chested, attractive “gingers” by fashion photographer and music video director Thomas Knights, who is also a redhead.
The men come from all over the world and include actors, models and athletes like “Vampire Diaries” actor Daniel Newman and USA Olympic fencer Race Imboden, according to a press release.
“We have been conditioned to think ginger men are ugly and weak,” Knights said in the release. "I wanted to flip this on its head and present the redhead male as the ‘ultimate’ alpha male."
Each photo is accompanied with a plaque of the model’s name and a quote about their experiences and thoughts about being a redhead. Some described experiences of being bullied or rejected because of their hair color, while others where proud it made them different.
It’s those stories that make the show more than just a display of pretty faces, said Vittorio Calabrese, the gallery’s director.
“It just adds so many layers,” he said.
In addition to the show, the gallery will host a launch party for the 2015 “RED HOT” calendar as well as a “RED HOT 100” art book, which features the "100 sexiest" redheaded men, signing with Knights, Calabrese said. Sunday’s gallery event will also feature shirtless models and serve ginger beer.
Three of those models will also participate in LES Opening Night fashion show on Sunday, he said. Dancers from the Paul Taylor Dance Company on Grand Street will join the "Red Hot" models on the “Looks of the LES” runway, according to the LES BID.
The fashion show will feature clothing from more than 20 neighborhood boutiques styled by Comopolitan.com editor Amy Odell.