The Fascination Of String Paintings

Our artist client, Allen Hirsch, has accomplished the impossible. He paints on mesh, or any composition made out of strings, to show what it’s like to see the world through a structure like a fence. As an artist, he feels we see surrounding reflections on a fence that we never would have noticed if we just looked at the landscape in front of us.

Allen accomplishes this by placing spots of paint on the strings that make you think he created the painting on the canvas. It’s quite remarkable. Very few artists have the skill to paint this way. Once you see the painting in person, or below, you will still think that it was created on the canvas. It’s a very tricky visual experience.

Why am I writing about this? Until you enter Allen’s world, and hang around for a while, you have no idea how many creative endeavors he has been involved in. I found the string paintings in his SoHo loft a few years ago and it has taken this long to get an assortment of them to show you. Our PR agency represents Allen for his smartphone case inventions. Called HANDL New York, the accessories give you the perfect grip and kickstands for all kinds of important uses. Only an artist like Allen could have figured this out. Read his bio below.

Allen Hirsch is an American painter, writer, inventor, entrepreneur, and New York City developer.

He was born in Encino, California in 1959. He received a B.F.A at Syracuse University, and also attended Camberwell School of Arts in London, Skowhegan School, New York Studio School and received a M.A from Rosary College in Florence, Italy in 1986.

In 1982, he was discovered outside the Whitney Museum exhibiting a begging self portrait by Eugene Mihaesco. He was then asked to do covers for TIME Magazine from between 1983 to 1991.

In 1993, he painted the inaugural portrait of Bill Clinton for the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. The painting subsequently hung in the White House during his tenure.

He won a Society of Illustrators Award for “Drugs” cover of TIME in 1986 and received the Hitchcock Award for Landscape Painting from the National Academy Museum in 1997.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he painted portrait commissions and self-portraits, exploring the brain’s projection on the right and left sides of the face, painting with left and right hands to express “the duality of the psyche.” He developed a technique “New Cubism” where the image is formed and buried at the same time and invented “String Paintings.”

Allen has also been making digital art since the first Macintosh came out in 1984.

Allen traveled frequently to Venezuela from 1995-2015 and painted the life on the coast of African descendants brought there as slaves in the 18th Century. It was there he rescued Benjamin, an orphaned capuchin monkey and brought him to New York.

A documentary on their life and art together called “Long Live Benjamin” was produced by the New York Times and won an Emmy in 2017.

Painting from life, Allen has documented many of the dramatic events in NYC including 9/11, the Hurricane Sandy blackout, and the COVID 19 shutdown. He also created a series of scores of paintings of his view on Lafayette Street in different lights and seasons.

He has exhibited at Allan Stone Gallery, Louis Stern Fine Arts, Monique Goldstrom Gallery , American Art Gallery, the National Academy Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.

Allen has written for the New York Times and other publications. He has several books in development on his art, monkey and a new study on Pieter de Hooch.

In 2013, Allen invented HANDL, a new way to ergonomically hold and stand cellphones based on his experience with hand movement and touch projection in art. HANDL has been used by the world’s top celebrities and athletes and currently in mass retailers in the USA and abroad. Allen has over 30 patents involving cell phone holding apparatus around the world.

Allen purchased an important SoHo retail space in 2003 and conceived of a diner/basement experience that resulted in La Esquina, one of downtown NYC’s most popular nightspots. He also founded The Kaaterskill, currently an inn and wedding venue in upstate New York

HANDL New York

2 thoughts on “The Fascination Of String Paintings

  1. Love Allen Hirsch and much admire his many talents. First ‘met’ Allen when I was a member of the BCPIC… (Bill Clinton Political Information Collectors) and received a copy of his inaugural portrait of Bill Clinton back in the 1990’s. It’s wonderful seeing Allen’s artwork…. very inspiring and thinking outside the box. Of course love the connection with you!

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