Exploring Unity and Identity in Luka Sabbat's 'Hot Mess' Art Show

Hot Mess is one of model Luka Sabbat's first creative projects that steps away from the world of fashion.
February 9, 2017, 7:45pm
Photos by Leila Ettachfini

Hot Mess, the gallery show by model Luka Sabbat in collaboration with Noah Dillon, opened last night, on the eve of New York Fashion Week, at Milk in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. Sabbat is best known for his modeling, sense of style, and famous friends (among them the Jenners and A$AP Rocky); Hot Mess is one of his first public projects that ventures beyond the fashion world. Sabbat, who has advocated against gender roles and participated in campaigns like Calvin Klein's gender-free fragrance in the past, discovered Dillon, a photographer from Colorado, through Twitter.


From there the two began working on Hot Mess in hopes that it would embody "today's generation and its yearning to stand apart, while reflecting the evolutionary trajectory of the visual image," according to a description of the work at the gallery. Non-sexualized nudes and androgynous, care-free teens were a consistent theme of the photos on display. The description also stated that Sabbat and Dillon purposely used "real people cast from the street or social media" as their subjects. Keeping in line with the theme of unity exhibited in works like "He Will Not Divide Us" by artists Shia LaBeouf and Jaden Smith (the latter a close friend to Sabbat), Hot Mess derived from an "overarching vision [to] unite people from various backgrounds in situations unfamiliar to them." Also on display was Sabbat's new photobook, printed by Virgil Abloh's Fine Press, titled Woman.

Broadly was there to capture both the artwork and the attendees whose looks reflected the same youthful mystique as the photos surrounding them.