NYC Contemporary: A Start Show Art Fair

Written by T.K. Mills

This weekend, Start Shows is back at it again, putting together another stellar line up of artists at One Art Space, with an opening reception on Friday May 19th 6-9pm. Aiming to elevate their process, this new show, ‘NYContemporary’ is set to be a new annual art fair.

Speaking with the curator, Sophocles, he explained, “Thais, my wife and partner in Start Shows had the idea to create an Annual Art Fair a show that we do every year. We were thinking of a title for it… [we decided on] NYContemporary Art Fair so its unique and no need to have two C’s in a row. We liked the name and then we made it happen.”

“We wanted to have a smaller selection of talented artists to tell their story in an innovative way, in their own words and let their stories speak for themselves! We added an official booklet of the artists featured in the show, as a moment in NYC Art history and as a memento of the show.”

As opposed to past shows, which had a broad range of artists, NYContemporary has a more focused vision – “we wanted to have a smaller selection of talented artists to tell their story in an innovative way, in their own words and let their stories speak for themselves! We added an official booklet of the artists featured in the show, as a moment in NYC Art history and as a memento of the show.”

Contemporary art is a nebulous category – by definition meaning only what is current and ongoing, but also reflecting a certain taste and element. While others may have their own takeaway, the curator had an upbeat interpretation: “Contemporary art can be any kind of visual art that’s being created by artists these days. It’s my favorite kind of art because it’s being made in a period where I get to meet the artist and through their social media learn their story and the story behind the art.”

One of the strengths that I admire about Sophocles and what he’s produced with Start Shows, is he keen ability to bring in collectors and ensure that everyone show has plenty of red stickers. In truth, the sales that Start Shows tend to have is one of the defining traits. In response to what the key to selling art is, he explained it as a matter of professional logistics.

“When it comes to selling art, here are a few basic principles artists should understand. If you don’t promote your art, no one will know about it! The more you promote your art, the more success you will have with it because more people will know about it. If you can’t talk about your art in a compelling way that gets people excited about it or write about it in ways that gets people excited to purchase it, you will have less collectors. Great Stories Are KING! For each piece there should be a unique story behind it, it can be how you created it, what inspired you to create it, and many other creative ways to tell stories about it that are unique to each storytelling artist. Stories that get people to connect with the art through a past experience or with a lot of emotion are memorable ones. The greatest selling artists today are great at marketing and promoting their art in person and on social media. Having a website helps give you credibility and can help you sell your art easier. Reinvesting money you make from jobs and selling art back into creating and advertising your art will help you evolve quickly and help you spread awareness and can help you sell art.”

On the flip-side, Sophocles was also eager to share why it’s important for people to collect art. “Have you ever walked into a home or business, that had empty walls, and wondered why it seemed gloomy? On the other hand, have you ever been to a carefully curated home or business with real original art that was made with love and care full of captivating colors that got you staring for a while and transported your mind into a strange new and amazing dimension? It is important for collectors to buy art, because art brings TONS of value in adding beauty, culture, inspiration, creativity and colors to their homes, businesses, schools and galleries and museums. The whole world and multiverse were designed by a higher power and that higher power gave the rare ability to make art in a unique way to countless artists who all make art with a different approach. Each piece of art is unique and no two artists have the same approach to creating art just like how each fingerprint is unique to the individual who possesses them.”

Looking toward the show, Sophocles shared his enthusiasm for the event – “My hope for this show is to help the artists express themselves and share their journey and stories with over 1,000 art enthusiasts over the 3 days of the show and help the art enthusiasts and collectors see the value, imagination and creative energy that these talented emerging artists bring to the NYC Art World stage through our Digital platform on Instagram and at One Art Space Gallery. To help the artists make meaningful connections with each other and guests to the art fair.”

He continued, ” I will do all I can to help give the artists a great experience, a sense of being at home in the gallery and among people who understand them and want to hear more about their creations and experiences. It has the potential to be the greatest Art show Start Shows has ever curated with great vibes and atmosphere.”

Don’t miss NYContemporary this weekend at One Art Space!

Meet the Artists

Here’s a sneak-peak to some of the artists in show, with a little about themselves and their work!

Erick Mota

Erick Mota is a visionary artist whose approach to the canvas is fueled by a profound philosophical and introspective understanding of the human experience. With each stroke of the brush, he invites viewers on a journey through the diverse facets of humanity, delving into the raw power of emotions and the shaping influence of culture on our personalities. Through his art, Erick fearlessly explores the complexities of the world around him, transcending the boundaries of visual expression to create pieces that serve as powerful testaments to his unrelenting quest for knowledge and self-discovery.

Erick’s artistic repertoire is a rich tapestry of influences, woven together from the threads of his personal experiences, his passion for psychology and organizational leadership, and his unwavering dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of those around him. As he continues to refine his unique voice within his craft, Erick remains steadfast in his commitment to helping others and leaving a lasting impression on the world through his art.

Instagram: @erickmotaart

Angelina Salgado

“I paint the Aurora Borealis in memory of my daughter, Aurora Annette, who died from Sudden Unexplained Infant Death, just three days after she and her twin sister were 2 months old. My daughters’ birth, and Aurora’s death, happened after over 3 years of fertility issues, as I underwent multiple surgeries and medical procedures due to Stage 3 Endometriosis, and then, finally enduring an emotionally-damaging cycle of In-Vitro Fertilization.

I alchemize my grief into colorful paintings of the Aurora Borealis. My paintings start on black canvas, which represents the overwhelming and all-encompassing feelings of sadness, heartbreak, & grief, following the death of my infant daughter, Aurora Annette. Then, I paint layers of bright, vibrant colors, in metallic and acrylic paint, through which I explore the emotional layers grief, depression, and anxiety, resulting from years of infertility and pregnancy trauma, and culminating in Aurora’s unexpected, untimely death. My entire artistic process is a daily practice in alchemizing the black of my grief, and transforming it into colorful works of art, through which I keep Aurora’s memory alive.”

Instagram: @angelinapaintsauroras

Lilian Kebudi

I paint using acrylic on canvas or paper. My pieces have movement and flow; my work is intuitive, letting my instinct and knowledge guide me through the process without overthinking my lines. The colors that I’m attracted to are calming and evoke tranquility. My goal is to connect to people through my art, share emotions and thoughts, and ultimately spread some positive energy that is much needed in the world.

Bio: New York City-based contemporary artist Lilian Kebudi was born in Brazil and moved to the US in 1997. A painter since childhood and a former graphic designer for the fashion industry in NYC for over 18 years, she combines her experience in pattern design and color combination in her pieces. She now spends most of her time painting and working at an Arts school helping families with children with Special Education. She believes in the power of community and that we can create a world with more empathy through the arts.

Instagram: @liliankebudiart

Inna Vator

Inna Vator is a New York-based artist who has been creating art since she was five years old. She has traveled around the world and met many people with different views and beliefs, which helped her see life from different perspectives. She has tried new art techniques and experimented with different art media. Coming to USA, Inna pursued her education in art and proudly received her honors diploma from Pratt Institute, the one of the world’s most prestigious art and design school. Inna has won numerous art awards and now is an internationally acclaimed artist.

Inna believes that art helps people concentrate, reduce stress and anxiety, and find solutions in life. She also believes that art plays a huge role in uniting people. Inna’s art is designed to speak and deliver important messages that she hides within her pieces. Only those who go through certain stages can see and recognize these messages right away. Inna’s purpose as an artist is to speak and deliver important messages that she hides within her pieces. Inna Vator’s art speaks to everyone by touching deep emotions through images, shapes, or colors.

My email:

Instagram: @innav8r__

Elena Kariyannis AKA ‘EROCKSNY’

Elena Kariyannis AKA ‘EROCKSNY’ is an American Contemporary Visual Artist internationally known, having exhibited in New York City and Europe.
Elena’s art style is a fusion of Abstract-Expressionism and Pop Art.  Her unique style of painting which is expressed powerfully through her art is mostly done with her fingers.
Check out her latest Limited Edition “Signature-Style” Symbols on E-BABY’S – Indulge your inner child, grab them while you can.  A true collectable!

Instagram: @erocksny

Richa Rashmi

I am a self taught artist. I have been painting since my childhood under my father’s loving guidance. Art is a passion for me. I don’t like to restrict myself with a particular style and subject, rather I love experimenting and developing my own techniques to give my work an individual and personal expression. My paintings are inspired by the emotions, feelings, moods, nature, life events and experiences. Art makes me feel alive. When I create art I feel at peace.

As a human, I care about every creation of the Universe, Life. As an artist I committed to donate 20% of the sales proceeds from all my paintings to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in the USA.

Instagram: @richa_gallery

Andrea Thompson

Raised in New York, Andrea is both a classically trained clarinetist and a mixed media artist. Having studied woodwinds and performed in orchestras across the US and Italy, she began creating her art while continuing her career in music. Her art focuses on the beauty and textures of butterflies and sculpture that she experiences in her travels. She takes natural forms and transforms them into a kaleidoscope of color and complexity, bringing new life to them by combining the intricate elements of their wings. Her art highlights the beauty of nature by warping the familiar into something new and inspiring.

Instagram: @visionsofbutterflies_art

Klay-James Enos

Klay-James Enos grew up in Manhattan’s East Village, a neighborhood with a rich artistic history, where Haring, Basquiat, and many other important artists lived and worked. His plein air paintings are suffused with the perspective of a native New Yorker, with a sensitivity to the changing metropolis. In contrast to most artists, he works without a studio, making the city itself his subject and workspace. Enos’ urban landscapes have a vibrant and spontaneous sensibility, often allowing new technology to influence his application of traditional oil painting technique in subtle ways.

Instagram: @klayjamesenos

Victor Luis Otero

Victor: V is a photographer specializing in fine art, fashion, conceptual, and editorial photography. V is a photographer who knows the ins and outs of a camera because he respects the time needed to truly know how to capture a photograph’s essence. V has noticed that some think a photo is a click of a button, and V would agree only if the camera is automatic. With that understanding, V is about creating a perspective rather than shooting his best shot.

Instagram: @the_v_path

Alejandro Jr.

Alejandro specializes in oil, acrylic and watercolor. His style consists of realistic-surrealism and Afro Nouveau. He has been painting since the age of 14 and during his undergrad years at Fashion Institute of Technology, he was accepted into the Society of Illustrators! He currently has his BFA in illustration since 2017.

Instagram: @abonfire


Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Raissa found her purpose in creating at a young age. At 8 years old, moving to New York, she felt a deep pressure to succeed for a better life. Despite the emotional pain endured coming from a broken and abusive home, art gave Raissa a sense of hope, peace, and purpose. Using art to process her experiences and confront her past traumas and struggles, Raissa’s art is a testament to her resilience and a reflection of the strength she has found in her journey. Through art, Raissa hopes to inspire others to face their fears and find their own sense of purpose in life.

Instagram: @artby.ros

Natasha Marcano Dillon

My name is Natasha Marcano Dillon and I grew up on a small twin island called Trinidad and Tobago. Now I reside in New York with my husband and two sons. In my free time, art would always relax me.

I studied Communication Design and Art Education. During that time my favorite classes were always the studio art courses. When I became a high school teacher in 2015, every summer I would work on drawings of different subjects and mediums, then in 2019 I was interested in portraits and worked on them consistently during my breaks in charcoal. I chose a dry medium (charcoal) because it was easier to work with two small boys and it was also easier to move around with.

In 2021 I wanted to try a more playful style with more vibrancy and maintain a painterly yet graphic style. I started to depict images of black women emphasizing natural hair specifically afros and locs with soft pastels. I always wanted to display black women’s strength and use their hair as part of their representation. I also continue with charcoal as a medium for more realistic depictions of my portraits.


Sid Chou AKA Kareneko Art

Sid Chou is a multidisciplinary designer toy artist whose work spans across various mediums and techniques. With a focus on playful themes that balance between cuteness and darkness. Sid’s creations evoke a sense of childlike wonder and bring joy to audiences of all ages.

Instagram: @karaneko_art

Rosa Guadalupe

“I’m Rosa Guadalupe, an artist that focuses on painting women. My piece in the show  keeps exploring the connection of shibari with the vulnerability of being a woman.”

Instagram: @rosaguadalupe_art

Shakira Howard aka How Abstract

Instagram: @howabstract

Me with my art


Muddyum® is an award-winning illustrator and designer based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work is inspired by everyday objects, puzzles, puns, architecture, jewelry, travel, and textiles. All of Muddyum®’s artworks are freestyled so no piece will ever be the same.

Instagram: @muddyum



Daniel Boersma

Daniel Boersma is a Brooklyn based photographer.  His recent work integrates camera movement,long exposure and other techniques in order to create images in which the luminous and the numinous converge.

Instagram: @DanielBoersma

Valerie Shalit 

“My name is Valerie Shalit I grew up the 70s & 80s in Queens, New York and I’m heavily influenced by the pop culture of my time … I’m now 52 years old, never took an art class in my life but by the grace of God woke up one day and felt the urge to speak with my art. I don’t know where this road will take me but I once read that If you do what you LOVE it’s not a “ job” it’s a way of life.”

Instagram: @chancetheartist2021

And be sure to check out all of the artists on instagram:





















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T.K. Mills is the Editor-in-Chief of UP Magazine, a street art publication based in New York City. After receiving a Master’s Degree in Global Affairs, he discovered a love for graffiti while backpacking through Cuba and pursued life as a writer. Outside of UP,  T.K. enjoys writing poetry, personal travel essays, and occasionally short stories. His work has been published in The Smart SetThe Vignette ReviewGenre Urban Arts, and Eternal Remedy among others. Beyond art, T.K. loves reading and traveling.