Whitestone resident Arthur Brill developed a recent interest in art while in Aruba several years ago and seeing some photographs he felt were too “bland.”
Previously a resident of Bayside, Brill and his wife Angela have lived in the Whitestone cooperative LeHavre for the last 20 years. Before retiring, Brill worked in sales promotions and had his own company, Arthur Brill Productions.
Among his professional accomplishments were running the American Airlines Golf Classic for 25 years and running tournaments for American Airlines with the National Hockey League Players Association.
When Brill retired 10 years ago, he began traveling, including to Aruba, where he goes every year for winter vacation. During one trip several years ago, he saw a photographer who specialized in taking underwater pictures trying to sell his work.
“He was on the beach, going from group to group trying to sell his artwork,” Brill said. “They were bland and he was not successful.”
Brill became friendly with the photographer because of his personality and was one day invited to go on the boat with him to see him take photos of a reef. He then later went to his studio as well.
“It became part of my stay,” Brill said. “He only went out on his boat two days a week and I usually accompanied him.”
Soon Brill began to invite other people to join them on the boat, which could hold about 10 people, and those people would purchase some of the photography.
However, Brill still felt that the work needed something more.
“I knew he had multitudes of pictures but they were bland and needed something else,” Brill said. “I had my computer with me on my trips and started to experiment with cropping pictures of his work and adding color with a computer program.”
Brill said that until he became involved with all of this, his interest in art was “minimal.” The first four photographs that he did work on all sold the first day that the photographer displayed them.
“I started supplying him with pictures and between the boat trips and sale of pictures he started to make some money,” Brill said. “I made a profit from making the pictures. This went on for a period of six years.”
After that, Brill returned to Aruba and found out that the photographer had passed away. He bought 200 pictures from the widow and continues to do his work cropping and adding color to them.
Brill said that he has now “cropped and printed over 300 different pictures.” He participates in art shows in Florida during January, February, March and April.
Recently, Brill also showed his work at the LeHavre Art Show, which featured the works of residents of the cooperative.
To see more of Brill’s work, visit Yessy Gallery at http://www.yessy.com/angart168/gallery.htm.