The Estate of Robert De Niro, Sr. announces a prize for mid-career painters

Robert De Niro, Sr., “Two Trees,” date unavailable, oil on canvas, 22 x 28.” Private collection
Robert De Niro, Sr., “Still Life with Vase of Flowers, Lemons, Chair and Guitar,” date unavailable, oil on canvas, 34 x 40″ Private collection.
Robert De Niro, Sr., Landscape with Houses,” 1970, oil on canvas, 28 x 30.” Estate of Robert De Niro, Sr.

Last night the Estate of Robert De Niro Sr. announced The Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize, which will honor an outstanding mid-career American artist. The prize, which includes an award of $25,000, recognizes achievements in painting. Robert De Niro, the artist’s son, along with Megan Fox Kelly and Jeffrey Hoffeld, advisors to the estate, made the announcement last night at a reception held in the elder De Niro’s Soho studio. De Niro, Sr., died in 1993, but his son has kept the studio exactly as it was when his father was still alive.

Administered by the Tribeca Film Institute, which is co-chair by the younger De Niro, the prize has been established to recognize an American artist whose work has made a significant contribution to painting. A selection committee of “distinguished individuals in the art world” will be appointed annually to nominate three finalists and select a winner. The goal is to celebrate and bring attention to mid-career artists who may have been overlooked by the fickle art world, but continued to paint nonetheless. The first prize will be awarded in 2011, and the selection process will include an exhibition of the finalists’ work.

�I am proud to honor my father as an artist and pay tribute to his painting through the Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize,� said Robert De Niro. �By annually awarding an American artist who is recognized for exceptional quality in painting, we hope to support artists, like my father, who are making a lifelong commitment to their art.�

Who would Two Coats readers like to see nominated for the prize? Feel free to leave suggestions in the Comments section.


  1. I nominate Robin Tewes, mid-career painter, realist with a feminist inflection, a psychological and emotional intelligence, a sense of humor!
    will give you an idea – you have to see the paintings in person to experience their attraction, of course!

  2. I nominate Madison BadDoberan,46, american painter. http://www.madbaddoberan.daportfolio.com,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmn2JJio-u0, abstract expressionist painter

  3. I would like to nominate Christopher T. Ryan, a mid-career contemporary realist painter and professor, who's "… fascination with ancient mosaic and inlaid stone floors found throughout Italy. His paintings treat such floors as a sort of stage for human actions, where the debris and residue of contemporary life is juxtaposed with the narratives found in the ancient designs and patterns, in an effort to create new dialogues and associations between old and new."


  4. i'd nominate george liebert, longtime faculty member at the school of the art institute of chicago and under-appreciated chicago painter. more here:


  5. I feel Boston based Steve Locke would be a fine nominee for the prize. I feel his work is fresh. Check him out at http://www.stevelocke.com/

  6. I nominate eon scott; who dips into all phases of painting and drawing. he used to be a cop; now all he does is paint, draw and listen to music. he could really use a break.

  7. mark dutcher, la painter, markdutcher.com, remarkable, brilliant, kind, authentic

  8. Matt Blackwell – NY painter, shows at Ed Thorpe

  9. I nominate Peter Acheson. Thanks Sharon for the wonderful ever informative blog posts.

  10. I nominate Michael Gellatly. He never leaves painting despite success in his other realm (illustration). And his work has really matured to an awesome level. http://www.bamboo2studio.blogspot.com

  11. I would nominate Farrell Brickhouse.

  12. Farrell Brickhouse is the man!

  13. I would nominate Jeff Fontaine. His work is just awesome. His work can be seen at

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