Robert De Niro, Sr

Robert De Niro, Sr
 

Robert De Niro Sr’s studio, New York 2015


 
 

Artistic talent runs in the De Niro family. Robert De Niro, Sr was a figurative painter and his final home and studio have been preserved by his Academy Award-winning son, who shared his memories in an HBO documentary released in 2014 called ‘Remembering the artist, Robert De Niro Sr’. After his father passed away in 1993, Robert De Niro, Jr decided to keep his father’s studio and preserve it almost exactly as it was. This year I had the pleasure of being invited to photograph the studio and when I entered this time capsule of 1950s bohemia in SoHo, New York, I was overwhelmed by its authenticity. This fascinating space is not a museum in the way, say, Pollock’s or Bacon’s studios have become, but a private shrine to a father, the painter, cared for by his son, the actor. The loft is dominated by an ornate birdcage and every wall is covered in rugs, African masks, charcoal drawings and vibrant watercolours. You can also see pictures and posters that the artist admired, shelves of books and audio tapes, and posters of De Niro, Sr’s exhibitions held decades ago. The studio is reached by a corridor (the space was originally two apartments) lined by more shelves crammed with canvases. It is a huge room, brightly lit by daylight from above, where you can see three paintings by De Niro, Sr each resting on an easel. And there are the tubes of oil paints which have exploded with age, spreading colour over a table where the paint brushes stand neatly upright. De Niro, Jr also wanted to keep the studio for his children so they could appreciate what their grandfather did. He took pictures and documented everything—so he can preserve everything as it was. For as long as he can.
 
—Copyright 2015 Mart Engelen
 
 
 

Robert De Niro
 

Robert De Niro Sr in his studio, New York 1958

© c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2015

 
 

Robert De Niro, Sr
 

Robert De Niro Sr’s Studio in SoHo, New York 2015