Artist Daria Deshuk passed away at her home in Bridgehampton, N.Y. on March 9, 2017, reported her family. She was 60 years old. Private services were held Friday, March 17, 2017 in North Bellmore, N.Y. A public Memorial and Art Show featuring her work is planned in The Hamptons for Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Guild Hall in East Hampton, N.Y.
A longtime Hamptons resident, Daria Deshuk was born on October 4, 1956 in Brooklyn to Sasha and Sydell Deshuk and was raised in Rosedale in Queens, N.Y. Her mother died when she was seven years old, an event that shaped her life profoundly and would be expressed through her art.
Deshuk received her BFA in painting from the Parsons School of Design in 1978 and earned a master’s of fine art from Hunter College while entrenched in the art scene of the East Village in the early 1980s. She participated in a number of performance-art pieces at the legendary haunt, Club 57. She was also a member of the P.S. 122 Artist Space for 10 years.
When she was 22, she met American artist, musician, filmmaker and actor Larry Rivers (1923-2002), who was known as a key founder of Pop Art and art that pushed boundaries. He was teaching at Parsons when the pair met. Rivers and Deshuk were partners for 15 years, residing together in New York and Southampton, N.Y.
Their son, Sam Deshuk Rivers was born in 1985, who lived in both New York City and The Hamptons. Daria Deshuk relocated to Bridgehampton full-time in 2004 with her partner, David Kushnir, a real estate investor, where she lived until she died.
Deshuk is survived by her son, Sam Deshuk Rivers, 31, of Maryland; three sisters: Amy Friscia Holler and husband Henry and son Tony of Long Island, Valerie Wechsler and husband Jay and daughter Allie of Florida, Claudia and son Sasha of Long Island; and brother Alex Deshuk and wife Karrie of Arizona. She is also survived by cousins Ira and Carol Schussheim of New Jersey, Shelley Schussheim of Massachusetts and Michael Jessick of California, along with all of their children. She is survived by stepdaughters, Gwynne Rivers of Maine and Larry Rivers’s sons, Joseph Rivers and Steven Rivers and step-grandchildren Darcy, Oliver and Georgia Rivers.
In lieu of flowers and cards, memorial donations may be made to the Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington, VA by clicking here.
Deshuk left behind a large circle of friends whose lives she touched deeply, her friend Roxanne Robinson told The East Hampton Star. Deshuk played "spiritual and literal mother to many of those in her circle" and was a "...welcoming force that drew them together in gatherings, dinners, art openings, benefits," Robinson stated, according to The East Hampton Star.
Daria Deshuk’s early painting were based on photographs she took of people in the streets and parks of New York City. She did a counterpart of scenes she spied in The Hamptons set at the beach, private pools and equestrian moments. Through the years, her artwork morphed from capturing the physical to include the metaphysical and integrated the human experience with the spiritual one. She also added manipulated photographs and printmaking into her art practice. Like her earlier work, Deshuk's photography-based art began with a photograph made from a scene she saw—now from a staged setting or centering on existing objects—into an interpretation of life and spirituality.
"My work is about creating snapshots of life," wrote Deshuk. "My chosen imagery takes reality and the depths of the viewers understanding of these stolen moments to a level of universal and subjective intimacy. With paint and brush I strive to capture the essence and atmosphere of the ordinary and mindless vignettes of daily life represented as unique moments in space and time. Life and Art, experienced through creation connects me to love and a spiritual experience of being. My understanding of the circle of life completes itself when I create a representational painting from a photograph."
Regarding her art practice, Deshuk wrote "....The artist as voyeur steals selectively from the public environment of Hampton beaches and New York City streets the images that define the American experience. Far beyond the standardized interpretation of reality provided by photography, painting allows me to capture the essence of human experience. Condensed into the stolen moment, my choices as an artist extend reality by leading the eye in the re-orchestration of light, space and the pure beauty of paint itself."
A pop up art exhibition of Daria Deshuk's work will be part of the "In Memory Eternal: The Public Memorial for Daria Deshuk" at Guild Hall on April 22, 2107.
BASIC FACTS: "In Memory Eternal: The Public Memorial for Daria Deshuk" will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937. www.guildhall.org. In lieu of flowers and cards, memorial donations may be made to the Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington, VA by clicking here.
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