Morris Hirshfield (1872-1946) was born in a Jewish family in Poland. He immigrated to the United States with his family when he was a child at the age of eight. Not much is known about his family background and early life. He grew up in the Lower East Side of New York City. He found employment at a women’s coat factory; later, he founded a business with his brother, first manufacturing women’s coats, then after a thriving shoe manufacturing industry. He married his wife, Fanny, and the couple had no children.
Hirshfield’s family background is not well-documented, but it is known that he led a relatively private life and did not have a large social circle. He devoted much of his time to his painting.
However, his Jewish heritage and cultural background likely influenced his artistic work. His use of symbolic imagery in his paintings, such as the Star of David, is thought to be influenced by his Jewish heritage and his interest in mysticism.
Morris Hirshfield was a self-taught painter and artist. He began painting relatively late in life, at 50, after he retired from his successful shoe manufacturing business. Despite his lack of formal training, Hirshfield developed a unique and highly recognizable style that combined elements of realism and fantasy.
Hirshfield’s painted only 77 works during his career. His paintings are known for their intricate, detailed, and symbolic nature. They often feature repetitive patterns of interlocking shapes and symbols, which create a sense of movement and depth. These patterns are often symbolic and reference subjects such as nature, the human body, and spirituality. His Jewish heritage and interest heavily influence his use of symbolism in his work on mysticism. Gallerist Sidney Janis had a great interest in self-taught artists. Included some of Hirshfield’s works in a 1939 exhibition,
Hirshfield’s work is also characterized by its use of vibrant and contrasting colors, which create a sense of energy and movement in the paintings. His painting found favor in surrealist circles; he participated in the first American surrealist exhibition, First Papers of Surrealism, in 1942. He received a one-man show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1943. The show received negative criticism; Art Digest referred to Hirshfield as “The Master of Two Left Feet
Morris Hirshfield Big CatMorris Hirshfield, Stage Beauties, 1944.Morris Hirshfield’s Tiger 1940Morris Hirshfield Baby ElephantMorris Hirshfield’s “Girl With Pigeons” (1942),
Morris Hirshfield’s work falls into the naive art movement. His works are a synthesis of his vision and his interest in the world around him. His art continues to be admired; Morris Hirshfield was rediscovered in the current exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum, September 23, 2022–January 29, 2023
To Read More about Naive art, also named Folk Art, visit Folk Art.
Born in Turkey, Sibel Meydan Johnson lived and studied in Mons Belgium most of her life. She graduated with honors with a major in Liberal Arts.
In 1990 Sibel left her hometown for New York City. She worked for several years as a production assistant for " En Plein Air Masters" one of the first online plein air artists mentor programs then as director of production for Brush With Life TV’s series on visual art.
Today Sibel is an autodidact painter, Freelance writer specializing in art and the business of art. Mother and wife, she is a full-time artist.
Sibel's art captures and brings forth the hidden emotion of his subjects and evoke a sense of curiosity and introspection pushing the boundaries of creativity and expression, her work often combines elements of abstraction and realism, creating a unique and captivating visual experience that sometimes disturb the viewers.