New York artist wins $2 million for painting piano painting
NEW YORK — New York artist Matthew Deen has won a $2.25 million grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help him finish a painting of a piano.
The grant is part of the organization’s new $300 million Center for Contemporary Art (CCAA) and Deen, the first American to receive the prestigious award, will receive the full $2,500,000.
“The work is about creating a relationship between the human person and a piece of art,” said CCAA Director Andrew Osterman.
“It is about finding the power of the human body and finding its connection to the work, and I think that is what this award is about.
And that’s why it’s so important.”
The painting, titled “The Power of the Human Body,” was completed in June 2014 and the final image will be unveiled at the museum on Friday.
The sculpture will be on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art until May 31.
The painting was commissioned by the Whitney and was originally commissioned by a woman who lived in the neighborhood, who was inspired to paint the painting after hearing about Deen’s work.
Deen was inspired by his mother, a musician, who also used to work in the piano industry, according to Deen.
The Whitney said in a statement that the painting was inspired and that Deen is the first artist in the world to be awarded the prestigious CCAA award.
The museum is also making a special effort to encourage more young artists to explore the art of painting by showing them an interactive painting experience in the museum’s studio, called “My Artist,” in the Whitney Center for the Performing Arts.
Deens piece, which he will be shown at the gallery on April 24, will include a drawing, an online survey and a certificate of completion.