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Woodstock Artist Don Denarie Outsider Art "Trees", 1997

About the Item

A nice painting on board by the noted NYC and Woodstock artist Don Denarie. This outsider art is a landscape and newly framed. From the NY Times: Our Towns ; An Artist Moves Off the Street Into the Spotlight By EVELYN NIEVES Published: September 18, 1997 SUCCESS is moving in on Don Denarie. One day, he's hanging around the Woodstock Village Green with his street buddies, shaking spare change from the tourists. The next, he's sleeping in a real apartment, painting full time like a regular Michelangelo. A sponsor is paying his bills. Nine or 10 screenwriters are trying to write his life story. And, miracle of miracles, his art is starring in a New York show, a solo exhibit at the Gershwin Gallery. ''Geez,'' he said, before his show's opening last night. ''I don't know if I'm ready for this.'' Ready or not, here it comes. Yesterday morning, he and Duke, his 15-year-old son from his fifth marriage, hopped a 6 A.M. commuter bus from Kingston for a taped interview at the gallery with the ''CBS Morning News.'' Later, he was shaking hands with a bunch of art lovers who thought his 29 oil paintings ''fab-u-lous!'' It's as if, as his friend Lenny Kislin said, ''Don is living a fairy tale. This is something that people dream about but that never happens. Now it's happening.'' Mr. DeNarie had never even dreamed about this. ''I don't really know what's happening,'' he said. ''Love your work!'' a young woman in a belly-button-baring T-shirt and jeans said as she brushed by. ''Wonderful!'' Mr. DeNarie looked a little shell shocked. For 25 or so years, Mr. DeNarie, a 56-year-old father of nine children from five marriages, has made a name in Woodstock as the leader of a pack of stubbornly anti-establishment street people. (Dharma bums.) They drift around town, providing grist for Woodstock's reputation as a countercultural mecca, and sometimes getting into trouble, mostly for panhandling and indulging in their free spirits. MR. DeNARIE's life changed course when Lenny and Nancy Kislin discovered that their friend has talent. A couple of years ago, DeNarie originals created with oils and canvases retrieved from the town dump began cropping up in Woodstock living rooms. The Kislins loved them. In January, Mr. Kislin, who is both an artist and an art dealer, decided to show some Don DeNaries at the Outsider Art Show at the Puck Building. Both critics and the public were charmed by the art of a man living in a car. Not long after the Puck show, Stephen Haberstroh came into the picture. Mr. Haberstroh, a friend of Mr. DeNarie's 32-year-old son, Mike, runs an entertainment company from Brooklyn, Habo Entertainment. He agreed to become Mr. DeNarie's manager and for eight months has been paying his rent and all his bills. He also sold 10 of Mr. DeNarie's paintings, at prices between $3,000 and $5,500, before the Gershwin Gallery show opened. ''I've known Don since I was a little kid,'' he said. ''I used to see him go to the town dump with his little blond sons in a car hand-painted camouflage. I always thought he was incredible. He has had all these adventures in his life.'' When Jules Feiler, an owner of the Gershwin Gallery, heard about Mr. DeNarie's art, he decided to see it for himself. He found Mr. DeNarie's work perfect for the small East 27th Street space, which specializes in emerging artists. (The show was called ''An Outsider Comes In.'') ''I fell in love with the paintings,'' he said. ''I don't think he knows how talented he really is.'' Mr. DeNarie paints exuberant nudes with generous curves. He puts them in trees, on bikes, on porches, against black backgrounds and blue skies. A few are reminiscent of Matisse. He knows he has talent. His son Duke, he said, is a good painter too. ''I guess it's just genetic,'' he said. A WOMAN came up to him and wanted to buy the smallest painting, a little nude with a cat. ''Geez,'' Mr. DeNarie, ''I'm not sure how much that costs.'' Some profits from the show will go to reimburse his manager. With the money left, he plans to satisfy his lifelong wanderlust. He is thinking of moving for the winter to Arizona. ''I can still paint there,'' he said. ''I can still sell there.'' At the Gershwin, paintings were selling 20 minutes after the show opened. More than half of the paintings had red dots underneath them, the symbol for ''sold.'' ''These paintings are selling like hot cakes,'' Mr. Feiler said. Mr. DeNarie was standing in a corner. With his wispy long hair, his black T-shirt exposing old tattoos, and his blue jeans, he looked like a biker at the wrong party. ''He's not used to this,'' said his son Mike, from his second marriage. ''I think it's great because he's not jaded up,'' Mike said. ''He's not chic. He's actually very excited. I mean, this is tremendous for everybody, and I think it gives other homeless people some hope.'' His father was surrounded by three gushing young women. A brooder by nature, Mr. DeNarie worried about how he would react to the crowd. But he did, for that moment, look unequivocally happy. Photo: Don Denarie with one of his paintings, ''Good Vibrations,'' which was displayed in a solo exhibit yesterday at the Gershwin Gallery. (Librado Romero/The New York Times).
  • Creator:
    Don DeNarie (Painter)
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 33.75 in (85.73 cm)Width: 54 in (137.16 cm)Depth: 1 in (2.54 cm)
  • Place of Origin:
  • Period:
    1990-1999
  • Date of Manufacture:
    1997
  • Condition:
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Some minor paint loss and minor abrasions and touch up areas, which is pictured. Frame is new, but has handling marks.
  • Seller Location:
    Palm Springs, CA
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU83508084143
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