‘Tahitian Beauty’ by Lou Behan
Oil on black velvet
In original frame.
A very rare piece by this famous artist!
Provenance: From the Don Carlsmith Estate.
Measures 30 x 24.
Signed lower left.
Condition: MINT. Framed and ready to hang.
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About the artist:
Louis Robert Behan was born 1929 in New York City, an only child, to Hungarian immigrants, he was raised on the tough streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Early on his, artistic abilities were evident.
In 1946 at the age of 17, he joined the Air Force and reenlisted in 1950. Stationed in the Pacific Theater and part of a Search and Rescue Unit flying a B-17, he earned his silver wings. It was during that period that he was introduced to his first and lasting love: the Islands of the Pacific South Seas; and one island in particular, Tahiti. He would later journey back to these islands for longer stays. Most of all his early work was of these beautiful Polynesian people. The Air Force also recognized his talents and besides painting the “Nose Art” on his squadron’s planes and designing insignia, he was commissioned to paint the portraits of high-ranking Commanding Officers; even well after his service ended. After the Air Force he attended art school. His professional career began with creating designs for shower curtains. Later, as a freelance illustrator, he would be involved in various fields, including education and entertainment, and worked many years as the staff artist for a souvenir firm. But his main love was to employ oil paint on black velvet –literally painting on fur. His wide range appreciation of historical cultures in all their colorful tradition is evident in his work. His women and men are beautiful and magnificent at once.
In 2002, with an unfinished painting on his easel, Louis R. Behan died of heart failure with his family around him. He was buried with his silver wings on his lapel. His wife, 3 sons and a daughter survive him.