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    Posted March 12, 2008 by
    ENGHELBERG
    Location
    NEW YORK, New York
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Slice of your life

    More from ENGHELBERG

    Painting in New York (streets) for more than 20 years

     

     

    New York, March 10th, 2008

     

     

     

     

    I was roaming the streets of New York with my camera just taking building pictures. On one corner I took some pictures of a FedEx wan robbery and the NYPD police officers taking fingerprints samples.

     

    I met Jorge Barrera in the 58th Street and Park. It was cold and I was going back to my hotel to have a hot dink and to read The New York Times, when I was attired by some of his painting so close on the Jonathan Polack's style.

     

    After some bargaining, lowering the price from $1,000 to only $150, I purchased one. Waiting to pack my art, I was talking to him in Spanish. This is what I have learned: born in Palmasoriano (Oriente), Cuba in 1958, he only graduated from 7th grade, "I do not like school" he have repeated me many times. "I wanted to be my own men" and started to win some money making shoes, clothes and pointing.

     

     

     

    His story is almoust the same as millions other: he took a chance and emigrated to US with the Mariel wave, helped by the Peruvian Embassy. As a refugee in the embassy he passed almost 12 days without eating, until he received the visa to leave the Mariel Port, in the 80's. After landing in South Florida was going from place to place: California, Texas, Orlando, Daytona and finally, New York. He is now married, with 2 children, a son of 21 and a daughter of 13 years of age.

     

     

    Unlike other emigrants, he speaks English quite well. Unlike others, he has talent, but lucks a formal art education and a corporate sponsor in order to have gallery exposition. He told me that he sells art on the New York Streets from more than 20 years, on rain, snow, cold and the summer hear.

     

     

     

     

    This day becomes colder, and darker and the wind were blowing stronger along the evenue: his paintings, fragile arranged in the side walk, were fling like kites on all direction. Like a shepherd, he was trying to keep them together and appleal to only few customers.

     

     

    How many talented people like him are selling on the New York Streets? Many.... But not everyone have big ambitions or the luck to meet a patron pr sponsor.

     

     

    Jorge is considering himself an impressionist painter and with an abstract touch. I cannot tell you where his open air gallery is, because he moves from place to place. I asked for a business card, and he was looking on his wallet, but found none. On a piece of paper he gives me this number, just in case you want to buy something from him: 646-233-7100 and his wife e-mail: zagidia@hotmail.com

     

     

    I bought one and I am happy with my painting. Maybe someday this will be worth my grandson's college tuition to med school or law at Harvard.

     

     

     

    HEDI ENGHELBERG

    hedi@enghelberg.com

     

     

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