Describing his art as abstract impressionism, Paradise Valley resident Harold Schifman can also be called “abstract.”
Leaving his mark on the business and art world, his portfolio is as solid as the red rocks in Sedona, where his impressionistic abstract paintings entitled, “Five Decades,” is displayed at Sedona City Hall through December, highlighting his evolution through 16 paintings.
Mr. Schifman, a successful business owner with more than 60 years art experience, shares his story from being “a starving artist” to having two studio locations.
“After five years in art school with a major in drawing and painting, I was forced to face reality that I must make a living and pursue a career in commercial art and design in New York City,” he said via email.
“I always found snap shots of time to paint even after I got stuck in merchant banking and venture capital. I was blessed to find The Larson Co. in 1987 and able to combine my love for art and business experience --- pure luck and perfect timing --- I now can finally devote my remaining years to painting and having two studios in Paradise Valley and Sedona is as good as it gets.”
Inspired by Sedona’s “majestic red rocks,” Mr. Schifman recently established his second residence and art studio in Sedona.
“Living here has been transformative,” said Mr. Schifman. “I’m a different person in Sedona, I’m a different artist.”
Attributing his business success to his creative side of his brain, the 75-year-old artist looks forward to his future work and the impact of Sedona. He details his background from painting to commercial art and investment banking in Boston, Kansas City and Tucson, he recounts.
His life changed when he bought and sold the design, architectural and construction company, employing 15 people that he grew to 450 artisans with offices in Japan, Mexico, Arizona and Israel, to dedicate his focus on his art.
“Clearly, my latest paintings are much different and happy with the evolution. I would encourage you to explore your desire in art,” he says, adding that it’s “never too late to start.”
“Never lose your passion or desire to create. Being an artist is a gift that you must share with others,” Mr. Schifman said.
Like fellow artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jackson Pollock, Mr. Schifman was classically trained at the Kansas City Art Institute; and like Andy Warhol, Mr. Schifman also worked as a commercial artist and illustrator in the 1970s.
After working in New York’s industrial and fashion design industries, he gained international acclaim when he went to Tucson and purchased The Larson Company in 1987.
While at the company, he traveled and studied Asian design for 10 years in Japan, refining his “minimalist simplicity of form and color,” shown in some of his paintings.
Raised In Tucson until he was 12, he moved to Kansas City then returned to Tucson in 1986. He moved to Paradise Valley in 2010 and enjoys his son, Adam, wife, Tess, and two Komondor dogs, “Bela” and “Zsa Zsa.”
Arts and culture coordinator Nancy Lattanzi was impressed with his art pieces.
“I am happy to connect Harold to our creative community and hope the public will take time to meet someone with an intriguingly incredible background and welcome him to Sedona,” she says in a prepared statement.
The City Hall Art Rotation exhibits are in the Council Chambers and the gallery in the Vultee conference room on City Campus, 102 Roadrunner Drive in Sedona.
Call Ms. Lattanzi at 928-203-5078, or email NLattanzi@SedonaAZ.gov for viewing times.
Guests can meet Mr. Schifman at a reception 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30 in the Council Chambers with musical accompaniment from Jazz guitarist, Tony DiMito, according to a press release.