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DAN'S PAPERS, February 27, 2009 Page 12 (continued from page 9)

Italian sculpture. He also would build, attached to the building on the west side, a giant aquarium, where you could snorkel and scuba amongst the fish by the hour, watching all the goings on underwater, including the pride of the aquarium — three sharks. Southampton society pretty much declared war on the Trupins. The turrets went up, and Southampton Village issued a stop work order on the house. The turrets were too high. The society members of the Town shunned the couple from their private clubs. Southampton society did come, however, to an enormous medieval ball that they threw on the property because they were in any case very polite and proper, but after that, it was back to the cold shoulder. The battle about whether they could make the

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vast modifications to this house went on for three years. The stop work order was never lifted. Finally, Trupin sued, citing his civil rights. If Southampton Village lost this lawsuit, they would be bankrupt. They lost. They appealed. They won the appeal on a technicality. And so, the Trupins packed up and left, with the castle unfinished. Trupin told me he would put it up for sale, but would only sell it to poor people so they could use it for public housing. The Trupins never came back. But the house did get sold. Brokers sold it for the astonishingly small sum of $2.3 million to the elegant New York City developer Francesco Galesi. Handsome and suave and with a European accent, he and his wife and children,


Tear Up

Honoring the Artist: Joe Chierchio In light of the recent Academy Awards broadcast, it seemed appropriate to talk film with cover artist Joe Chierchio. But Chierchio will talk about movies no matter what the time or place. In fact, he admitted he’s always wanted to be either a filmmaker or an actor. Chierchio is one of the few visual artists this critic knows who’s familiar with the world of weird — or at least unfamiliar — motion pictures. Q: Your art has a narrative thrust to it; I guess that comes from your love of films. A: Probably. I went to the movies everyday after school and then at night with my mother. Q: Your narratives are about what’s happening in New York. A: Yes, the grittiness of the streets and the people (like dockworkers). I like to capture the reality of the moment, but I use fantasy all the time, too, with a twist of reality. Q: Like Martin Scorsese and John Cassavetes do? A: Exactly. And Woody Allen. No one captures neurosis like he does. But I also appreciate storytellers, even Clint Eastwood. Q: You have a fine sense of history in your own storytelling as well. A: I like to draw old diners, especially the old Cheyenne Diner which closed and was sold to a man who transplanted it out West. And the Brooklyn Diner, a replica of Art Deco in the 1930s and ‘40s. The owner tracked me down to buy the work, but it took him two years to find me. Q: Your subjects remind me of the New York street photography of Ruth Orkin which feature architectural elements. Were you influenced by her or others like her? A: I was particularly attracted to Hines documenting the Empire State Building going up. Q: You mentioned you’re doing a book featuring older New York with a contemporary twist. A: The work goes back several years. I got a lot of my subjects especially when I would walk at night. Now people don’t walk at night in New York as much. In the book, there will be space for readers to write their own story for my drawings. Q: Your love of movies inspired your storytelling technique, and your penchant for history may have been due to your living near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. But where did drawing originate? A: I spent 40 years in advertising; I also taught advertising concepts at The School for Visual Arts for 15 years at night. I came from the “business” and could give the students the “real dope.” Q: Was it hard to give that up after you retired? A: Not at all. I went into fine art, which is what I always wanted to do. You must find something you love. Find a passion or else you’ll vegetate. — Marion Wolberg Weiss Mr. Chierchio’s work is currently on display at the Sambuca Restaurant (20 W. 72 St.); he will be in a group show featuring his East River work at New York’s Gallery of Graphic Arts in May. His website is:

Dan's Papers Feb. 27 & Mar. 6, 2009  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

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