Leonard Rosenfeld
Delancey St. Pimp with an owl, 1983, watercolor, oil pastel on canvas, 21.75 x 25 in, 55.245 x 63.5 cm
Leonard RosenfeldLeonard RosenfeldLeonard RosenfeldLeonard RosenfeldLeonard Rosenfeld

Hookers and Pimps  A deeply narrative artist, of course Rosenfeld could not help but chronicle the street life in his lower east side neighborhood. When he moved into his Forsyth Street loft in 1958, prostitutes and pimps populated the landscape. He heard them arguing and witnessed more than that. There was a standing joke among the women who used to hang out on the front steps of his building. As he stepped out, they invariably grabbed him by the crotch and asked, “How about a date, Pop?” to which he would always reply, in deep voice, “Stay cool, baby,” evoking laughter on all sides. One of his paintings on the subject, called, “Stay cool, baby,” now hangs in the home of a Swedish collector.

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