Famed New York artist, Nolita landlord and exotic animal lover, Allen Hirsch is well known for his portraits of presidents and covers of Time magazine in the ’80s and ’90s. Last night I checked out his most personal work to date at a reception at Storefront for Art & Architecture, which honors his pet Capuchin monkey Benjamin of 14 years who sadly died last year. Among the curious guests, was a pig and parrot. For the first time ever, Hirsch exhibited a large painting of Benjamin done in his unique “string” method -a technique that employs an array of painted strings spread out against an empty ground forcing the brain to put together the image. The exhibit is divided into four parts, Life, Art, Death and Resurrection, which corresponds to Benjamin’s life.
An edition of prints of the “string” artwork are on sale and all net proceeds will be donated to organizations protecting animals. Excerpts from “Monkey/Man” a book in progress was also on display.
Benjamin was a popular fixture in the nolita neighborhood, and went everywhere with Hirsch who called the cool little critter ” my little caveman.”
Leila Antakly is the founder and editor of Ninu Nina | November 16th 2011