• Classiques Modernes Staff

Artist Don Hershman’s Tribute to Victor Arimondi, Donald and Victor: Under the Influence

Artist Don Hershman is set to exhibit hi

s latest collection of original pieces, as part of a retrospective series inspired by the late Victor Arimondi. In the spring show, Donald and Victor: Under The Influence, the inventive artist will embody his visceral need to pursue interests and creative expressions as he pays loving tribute to his former partner who succumbed to AIDS in 2001. Hershman’s paintings will recognize the unique attributes of Arimondi’s work, featuring a display that is compassionate and reflective of our modern times, as we emerge from yet another pandemic. An opening reception will take place at Salomon Arts Gallery in Tribeca on May 13, 2021 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Space is limited, and the event will be carried out in strict adherence to all NY State COVID protocols. The exhibit runs through May 14 - June 3, 2021, viewing on Wednesdays through Saturdays 2pm – 6pm or by appointment.

Arimondi was a famed Italian American model and art photographer whose unique eye and sensuous style captivated the world. At the time of his death, Hershman inherited his estate, including his vast collection of photography and art.

“During our 17 years together Victor steadfastly guided and molded me, and after his sudden death in 2001 I became solidly dedicated to my art, his presence more powerful than ever - a driving force to create something that is no longer a choice for me, but a necessity,” says Hershman. “Today, I’m an active part of the art community in San Francisco, a patron of ART SPAN and mission artists.” In 2020 one of Hershman’s paintings won a jury selection at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. “This show at the Salomon Gallery brings mine and Victor’s work full circle with 20 new selected paintings from 2019 to 2021, along with a carefully curated selection of 38 photographs, taken between 1972 and 2001, four of which I interpreted into my own paintings, called the D & V Series.”

The upcoming exhibit will serve as a love letter to a luminary who graced the pages of fashion magazines including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Esquire, and appeared on the runway for many top designers, predominantly Valentino and Cerruti. Arimondi’s determination to turn the camera lens from his face onto the world he saw before him led to famously shooting the likes of Grace Jones, Liv Ullman, and Norman Mailer as well as several portraits of male nudes captured during the pre-AIDS culture of the early 1980s. He also notably focused imagery of the plight of the homeless of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood suffering during the height of the AIDS epidemic. In his words, "Since I posed in front of the camera for so many years, my experience with talented photographers made me realize a way to express my inner world."

In addition, on May 22, 2021 at 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, there will be an Art Talk with guest speaker Adam Stoltman, a former New York Times and Time, Inc., photography editor, will be in conversation with Hershman and share remarks on the legacy of Arimondi’s work.

“I first met Don around 2005 or 2006, a few years after Victor’s passing. One of the things which struck me the most was the degree to which Don was motivated, as if carrying a sacred trust, to preserve Victor’s work and legacy, a challenge for any surviving spouse of an artist, and also how tender the wound still was from losing a companion, life partner, and creative force,” states Stoltman. “It is fitting that Don and Victor are showing their work together through this exhibit. United as artists, continuing to hold that space, special energy and love.”

Titles in the collection will display photographs: Male Nude, Archival Print, 12”x9”; Still Life, Archival Print, 8”x8"; Male Nude, Archival Print, 12”x9"; and Self Portrait, Archival Print, 12”x9”.

Paintings will include: Red Vase with Flower - Quarantine Series, Acrylic and Pencil on Wood Panel, 30”x24"; Quarantine - Quarantine Series, Acrylic and Pencil on Wood Panel, 30”x24"; Tulips - Quarantine Series, Acrylic and Pencil on Wood Panel, 30”x24"; and Epidemiology - Quarantine Series, Acrylic and Pencil on Wood Panel, 30”x24”.