Steve Kaufman “SAK” (1960-2010) was a charismatic pop artist, humanitarian, and pioneer of Neo Pop Art. In his early years, Steve Kaufman assisted Andy Warhol, an experience that taught him silk screening, which he evolved into his own iconic art in the years to come. Kaufman painted icons and trends that stirred the American spirit, from the nostalgic and iconic to the cultural and political. His colorful and playful interpretations of the world around him were globally embraced.
This month, American Pop Art, Inc. will bring Kaufman’s art exhibit to Brooklyn for the first time since his passing, opening the doors to An Artful Holiday for one day on December 2. We interviewed Diana Vachier, Kaufman’s assistant for over a decade and the sole heir to his licensing rights, about the art exhibit she is bringing to Brooklyn to promote Kaufman’s art, name and legacy.
What sparked the idea of this exhibition?
“After having tremendous success showing Steve’s art in Europe, noting that his paintings were fully embraced and that museums acquired them for their permanent collections, we felt that now is the time to bring this New York son home. Steve’s art was showed in Italy, Austria and Germany on its own, and was also displayed in a number of exhibitions with the art of Andy Warhol, who Steve assisted in the late 1970s.”
What makes these pieces of art stand out?
“For this holiday show, we selected paintings that would make great gifts, as well additions to personal art collections. The collection spans from The Rat Pack to The Brooklyn Bridge, Superman and Bugs Bunny, Dorothy and Her Ruby Red Slippers, Beethoven, Mickey Mouse and more. It’s a fun holiday collection that appeals to all ages.”
Why Brooklyn? What inspired the first show here?
“Steve was born and raised in the Bronx, and I’m from Brooklyn. I wanted to kick off our U.S.A. tour in Brooklyn because it has always had a deep appreciation for creativity and art.”
What made Steve Kaufman’s art collection and pieces so special?
“Steve was a Pop Artist who assisted Andy Warhol in the late 70s. He learned the art of silkscreening there, and went on to become a great artist on his own merits, remaining true to the original art of silkscreening. He took it steps further by hand-embellishing the silkscreens with great details and wonderful colors.
When Steve created limited editions, each one was different because of this embellishment, even though they were all the same silkscreened canvases. His art hangs in numerous museums, including the Mozart Museum, The Enzo Ferrari Museum, The Museum of Art in Spain, the World of Coca-Cola Museum and more. His art has been embraced globally because of the brilliant colors and subjects.”
What was a favorite piece of Steve’s?
“All the paintings that Steve created were from his heart, so if Steve were asked, he probably couldn’t say. But if he were pressed to select one, I think it would be one of the paintings that Warner Brothers commissioned him to paint for their stores.”
What should a visitor to the exhibit look forward to?
“Looking at incredible art, learning about Steve and his colorful life and learning of his charitable work, including starting and running his youth program, “Give Kids A Break”. All of Steve’s art has a great story, and we’ll love sharing it.”
Are the pieces for sale, and is there a holiday special?
“All the art that is on exhibit is available for purchase. Steve painted for the masses. He wanted everyone that wanted a Kaufman to be able to afford one. There will be a painting to fit all budgets for new collectors and existing Kaufman collectors alike.
All our paintings are under our registered trademark “Steve Kaufman aka SAK catalogue Raisonne.” This is a document that guarantees that each painting is an authenticated and documented piece that can never be challenged. The artwork will come with a certificate of authenticity that will have the catalogue number. Only we can offer this.”
Date: December 2, 2017
Time: 11 a.m. – 9 pm.
Address: 92 Luquer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Transit: F or G trains to Carroll Street
To learn more about Steve and his art you can go to our website wew.americanpopartinc.com