Wildlife Painter Conor McCreedy Attracts A Fashion-Forward Crowd

Young artists take note: If you're hoping your next exhibition draws a good looking crowd, it might help to acquaint yourself with one or two models.

Luckily, South African male model-cum-painter Conor McCreedy knows more than a handful, and they braved last night's deluge to show up in droves for his solo show at Gramercy's prestigious National Arts Club.

"A lot of the girls I've worked with over the years turned up, which is great because they've become good friends," the Johannesburg native said with a chuckle.

The meandering space felt like a catwalk, with leggy gals trotting through the downstairs gallery, snapping photos of their pal's vibrant paintings and rapidly communicating in enough languages to tie up a UN translator's tongue.

But despite McCreedy’s pretty boy pedigree, it isn't fare to prematurely judge his work. The art -- a collection of wildlife photography shot during a recent South African sojourn (he now splits his time between Manhattan and the bush) and evocative, safari-influenced paintings -- more than speaks for itself.

Not only is McCreedy the youngest artist to ever show solo at The National Art's Club, but the majority of last night's work had sold well in advance of the show. The response has been enough to persuade McCreedy to put his art school degree to good use and pursue his passion full-time.

"I've stopped modeling now. If there's a big campaign I will do it, but I'm very much focusing on the art work itself and developing a style that's going to last and focusing on new galleries and installations," he said, remaining all business as he shuffled between fawning guests in a pair of purple suede loafers and conservatively sipped a ginger ale.

Of course, there was plenty of time to celebrate later. After things wrapped up, the crowd moved to SPiN, the members-only ping pong club just a few blocks north.

“I actually painted a portrait of [SPiN’s owner] Franck Raharinosy, so I'm very excited to have a party at his spectacular place that him and Susan Sarandon and his other friends have put together. And we're looking to doing a new SPiN in Cape Town in the near future, which I'll be a very big part of so I'm very happy,” he said.

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