Is It an Art Show? A Dinner Party? A Fashion Extravaganza?

The art gallery had barely closed for the business day when guests started wandering into the space on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Before them was a curiosity that made passers-by pause for a peek: amid the paintings on the walls was a long dinner table with place settings for 30 people.

Toward the entry way, Alex Delany, host of the Sound Radio show, was spinning 1970s-era Guinean and Ethiopian jazz and funk as invitees in Balenciaga, Prada and high-end Adidas sneakers mingled. And in the back of the gallery was the chef Roze Traore, spinning plates of poached lobster with tomato concasse and preserved lemons before a line of bowls filled with West African-inspired toppings.

The Thursday evening event was hard to describe without using a lot of hyphens. A West African-themed-dinner-party-exhibition-opening-fashion-extravaganza, perhaps?

“We’re merging food, fashion, art and going back to the motherland,” Mr. Traore said. “I’m bringing you into my world.”

Hannah Traore, the gallery’s founder.Credit…Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times
The painter Jose Duran.Credit…Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times

Mr. Traore himself is a one-man band of chef, model and, more recently, owner of a gallery inside his Ivory Coast boutique hotel situated along the beaches of Grand-Bassam. The event was a private opening for Mr. Traore’s pop-up dinner exhibition series, which continues through Sunday on the Lower East Side before traveling the globe, meant to broaden the reach of artists in a residency he’s created in the hotel. It’s part of Mr. Traore’s mission to build bridges between Africa and the rest of the world, and in particular to show off Ivory Coast, where his family is from.

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