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SIMPLY SURREAL: Bottino was once a happening art hangout and on Thursday night, it became that again. The restaurant was taken over for a post-opening dinner to celebrate handbag designer Diane De Maria and the John Connelly Presents gallery show of her late grandfather Pierre De Maria’s surrealist paintings and lithographs. The blonde Parisian trained as an artist herself before having the idea to launch a bag collection incorporating her grandfather’s work, which is in the Guggenheim Museum collection, among other places. “I’m always working on creating something,” said De Maria, who jetted back to Europe on Sunday. “I wanted to do something that crossed the line between art and fashion.” The Italian-made bags showcase the elder De Maria’s lithographs and also feature full-color motifs from his paintings. The collection will launch in the U.S. officially in September.
In the meantime, the very arty crowd, including the show’s curator, Melissa Bent, as well as painter Rita Ackermann, gallerist Amy Greenspon, photographer Max Farago and designers Kai Kuhne and Elise Øverland took over Bottino’s back room for a four-course feast and even a little bit of bad behavior — in the form of cigarettes snuck at the table.