Domingo Zapata. Spanish-American. Born in Mallorca. Lives in Gramercy Park. Paints personality stuff like a panda with the US flag. Exhibits at Cha Cha Gallery. Designs for Alice + Olivia. Chums with Lindsay Lohan, George Soros, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp plus — if you can put this together — His Holiness the pope, for whom he’s done charities and canvasses.
Understand, this is no Sistine Chapel stuff. Also maybe the guy on the street maybe doesn’t know him — but then no guy on the street gets hoisted up to paint a 15-story vinyl retrospective of his own 20-year career along a side of One Times Square’s building, where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
Domingo: “One day, I’m in the harness stuck three hours on the 17th floor. Problem was the rig. I’m scared of heights and tried to concentrate on the work. I have a phone, but I freaked out a little. There’s lots of security. Two guys stay underneath moving me up. But . . .
“It lost power 200 feet up, and it’s 4 o’clock. No food, no water because everything — brushes, rollers, acrylic, vinyl base — is on the rig. It was crazy. They sent for a fireman, and I tried not to look down.”
Not exactly like hanging on a wall in the Met — so why do this?
“Not for money. I’m not getting paid. This project took 25 people. Four are painters. The team works for me and we all make good money. The building owners wanted special advertising for the community. I’d worked for them before, done Welcome to New York videos and they wanted an artist to wrap their building. My 30,000-foot mural’s half the size of the 60,000-foot largest ever done in history.”
Yeah, OK, great. So, specifics. Up for hours in the clouds, how do you pee?
“In a bucket.”
And how did a nice skyscraper painter meet all these celebrities?
“Years ago I dated Lindsay. LA has lots of buyers who are into art. See something in a house, and the other one wants it.
“After this it’s a big party, then I rest a couple of weeks then off to Tokyo and next . . . maybe . . . who knows . . . maybe I’ll do the Great Wall of China.”
May he have an easy ride
The late “Easy Rider,” easy in many ways, had a dark side. He’d show for dinner in heavily tinted sunglasses. The shades hid that Peter Fonda had inhaled. Like bigtime. The guy loved cannabis.
The dark side went to dark chocolate. Once his friend Jesse Nash didn’t eat the chocolate ice cream in front of him, Peter grabbed it and three spoonfuls later killed the whole bowl.
Peter Fonda lived all of his life.
Reminder. Saturday, Sept. 28, Central Park’s Great Lawn, Mr./Mrs. Hugh Jackman co-host this year’s Global Citizen Festival. Other co-hosts: Rami Malek, Taraji P. Henson, Matt Bomer, Rachel Brosnahan, Forest Whitaker. Headliners are Queen, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, Carole King. It’s the movement to end extreme poverty . . . Gracie Mansion’s prepping for a three-day Halloween event (Oct. 25, 26 and 27). It will transform into a themed haunted house. There will be an outdoor tent with holiday arts and crafts, face painting, goody bags for kids, balloon making. Plus, well in advance, to be sure they arrive by Oct. 11, Gristedes is shipping to a Bronx storage warehouse 4,000 red boxes with the white string of those famous longtime, all-time, old-time animal crackers.
Much China talk in the news. Tom: “Once in China a boy didn’t take their girl out until he marries her.” Wife Gloria: “Yeah? In the United States, he doesn’t take her out after he marries her.”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.
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