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Frederick Mershimer
Lafitte's Blacksmith House (a bar named for a pirate on Bourbon St, New Orleans)

2005

$350

About

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop is a New Orleans landmark at 941 Bourbon St. Like most New Orleans legends, history of Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop is a gumbo of truth with French, Spanish, African, Cajun and American embellishments. Frederick Mershimer created this aquatint and mezzotint in 2005 in an edition of 120. It is #88 in the Retif/Salzer catalogue raissonne. Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop -- built between 1722 and 1732 by Nicolas Touze, is reputed to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the United States. In 1722, further building is recorded in a realty transfer set down by Don Andres Almonester. The structure and fence are in the old French Provincial Louis XV or Briquette-Entre-Poteauxe style used in French Louisiana. The building escaped two great fires at the turn of the 19th Century, due to slate roofing. Such slates are presently used by artists as canvases. Between 1772 and 1791, the property is believed to have been used by the Lafitte Brothers, Jean and Pierre as a New Orleans base for their Barataria smuggling operation. The legend is based on the fact that the property was owned by the family of Simon Duroche a.k.a. Castillon and the wily privateer Captain Rene Beluche. Castillon was a rather record-shy adventurer and entrepreneur. Captain Beluche commanded his ship "Spy" in Lafitte's Baratarian fleet. Although the owners of the property, Jean Baptiste Dominica Joly LaPorte probably lived on the premises, it is within reason that the Lafittes could have used the place as a city base for negotiations with potential buyers of their goods. It is unlikely that a wealthy Creole would agree to meet at home on Royal Street. The building at Bourbon St. and St. Phillip St. was probably regarded as a safe and convenient neutral ground. Frederick Mershimer (American, b. 1958) Moody, mysterious, majestic – these are some of the ways to describe the mezzotints of Frederick Mershimer. His images travel through the serenity of a Brooklyn neighborhood on a still night, rush past the frenzy of taxis jockeying for position around a New York cathedral, and parade down the fire-lit streets of New Orleans in its mythical Mardi Gras celebration. The evocative realism he creates transports the viewer beyond first appearances to reveal the hidden beauty and vitality of his scene. At first glance, his work can be interpreted as bold naturalism, yet he skillfully choreographs lighting and detail while altering perspective to draw the viewer’s attention to the essence of the piece. Mershimer’s mezzotints speak to both the grit and grandeur of the modern American city. Frederick Mershimer received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, where he majored in painting and drawing. After moving to New York in 1983, he studied printmaking at The New School, Pratt Graphics Center (1984 – 1987) and Manhattan Graphics Center (1988 – 1992). He was initially drawn to the mezzotint process because it echoed his approach to drawing. In 2007, Stone and Press published a catalogue raisonné of his work, titled "Frederick Mershimer Mezzotints 1984 – 2006".

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    Ships From: New Orleans, LA
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About the Seller
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