An Artist’s Legacy
J Philip Faranda August 27, 2012
I'd like to take a moment from real estate and discuss art, beauty, and things that endure. After a terrible accident Sunday, our community lost a very good man when Noel DeGaetano very tragically died this past weekend.
I knew Noel from our BNI group, and got an opportunity to visit his studio in Tuckahoe earlier this year. When one is about to go to where an artist does their work, the preconceived notion is that of a fragile gallery with paint, canvas, and soft light. I was, instead, met with the tools of real manual work: anvils, chains, torches, and other things one might expect at a mechanic or engineer.
Noel worked in varied media, and among his most impressive works was sculpture. One such work, a man in a martial arts posture made of broken shards of mirror, was the center of this studio and workroom. I don't possess the gift of seeing a bucket of shattered mirror and envisioning a 6 foot man in a tai chi position; Noel did. Soft spoken as he was, his hands did awesome work, and his heart spoke even louder after a lifetime of pursuing beauty and art instead of material gain. He possessed the smile of a man who did what he loved.
Noel's father and late mother were noted local real estate brokers, and when I connected the dots we both laughed at what a small world it is.
While Noel is gone from us, his work is not. As I type this, in New Rochelle at the transFORM gallery, Noel's work is featured among his peers at the Artwardly Mobile exhibition until October 20. I would encourage you to check it out. Go for whatever reason you wish- to support local artists, as Noel has a number of contemporaries as well present there, or to enjoy yourself. As for me, I'll go to remind myself that while Noel is no longer with us, the beauty that he loved and worked with daily does endure.