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.