High Art is an independent drama that was released in 1998. Sydney is a young woman who is cut in a rut. She is 24 years old and is already settled down, living with her boyfriend James. She is working at a photography magazine called Frame and is trying her best to work her way up the corporate ladder. The culture at the magazine is very pretentious and Sydney is struggling to fit in there. One day there is a leak in the ceiling of Sydney's apartment. She heads upstairs to talk to her neighborhood about it.
The neighbor ends up being Lucy Berliner. Lucy is a famous photographer and her life is incredibly different from Sydney's. Lucy lives with her girlfriend Greta. Greta is a hard-partying model who is incredibly beautiful. Greta is also dealing with a heroin addiction. Lucy and Greta's apartment is often filled with fashionable people looking to party. Many of the people in Lucy and Greta's crowd spend their days lying around the apartment and indulging in heroin. Lucy soon becomes obsessed with Sydney. Lucy's career has been at a standstill but she finds herself rejuvenated by Sydney's presence in her life.
Sydney's bosses at the magazine are also thrilled when they discover who Lucy is. Lucy is such a famous photographer but she is also incredibly private and elusive. Sydney's bosses beg her to get Lucy to work for the magazine. Lucy agrees to do a feature but only if she can have Sydney be her editor. Sydney is really excited by Lucy's attention and feels that her relationship with the photographer will allow her to take the next step in her career. The magazine allows it and Lucy and Sydney begin to work together.
While they work together, their relationship turns from professional to sexual and they begin a love affair. This causes Sydney to break up with her boyfriend and Lucy's girlfriend leaves her as well. Unfortunately for Sydney, Lucy has a lot of dark secrets from her past and as Sydney begins to discover them, she is forced to confront some hard truths about herself. Her involvement with Lucy causes Sydney to begin to experiment with, and then become addicted to, heroin. Lucy initially wanted to use Sydney to get her out of the drug scene but the opposite happens. Sydney ends up becoming as involved with heroin as everyone else in Lucy's crowd.