Two paintingsMary A.Esteves- O'Neil
Two of my grandfather's paintings were donated by my father, Joseph E.Esteves Sr., Antonio's son, to the Deposit Museum in Deposit,New York.
The identity of the person who helped my grandfather.Mary A. Esteves-O'Neil
I am one of Antonio's 8 granddaughters. The person who ran into the boiler room to help my grandfather, was his daughter Louise. Anthony's mother.
An amazing story and artistLori Kuhn
I remember visiting Great-Uncle Tony's home with his sister, my grand-mother, Sally, when I was a child.
We (my grand-father, grand-mother and brother) drove in to Brooklyn many years ago for a family gathering. I recall looking over the coach which I was sitting in and finding a naked potrait of a women. I can remember it like it was yesterday... I wonder what ever happened to that painting...
Many years later, Great-Uncle Tony painted a picture for my Uncle and his family in Virginia. That was unfortunately, the last original painting I have seen in many years.
It's nice to see family and other's appreciate the expression of life.
allAnthony R Esteves
I am also one of the 5 grandsons of Antonio Esteves and have a rare "mistake"painting .A colorful 70s style abstract with an unintentional white brush .However,by far,the most famous of his work is the "Burning Forest"which is also the one most meaningful to him as described in his nov.11 1980 interview with the New York Post.This painting is also still in the family ....last I knew. You see,Antonio Esteves was a VERY hard working building superintendent for some of the old brownstones along Eastern pky in Brooklyn,N.Y.who raised 5 children from the great depression,wartime,and beyond.Freindly,likeable, and very helpful in his local community.Always concerned with the welfare of his friends,family,and the tenants of the buildings he maintained,especially the elderly and poor ones.He was the guy that would give the shirt off his back.But that was the flavor of the old neighborhood in Brooklyn back in those times.A man also ruled his household with an iron hand back then,and Antonio was no differnt.He had dabbled in painting as early as the 50s,to make ends meet.A man of meager means,Antonio painted with supplies scavenged from his buildings such as old house paints,dresser drawer bottoms,backs,and so forth.On one horrific day in 1971 in the course of his routine,he was performing a saftey check on an oil burner in one of the big brownstones you know one of those tennis court sized numbers.Well,suffice to say,it wasnt safe,leaky valve or something.The boiler blew to high heaven,with my no time to react grandfather standing less than two feet away.The shockwave of the blast blew out 3 stories of windows.A member of the family im unsure who,ran in and dodged oily fireballs and walls of flame with blinding and choking black smoke and pulled a flaming mass of rags that had the sickening aroma of burnt chicken which turned out to be Antonio.The extent of his injurys are just as one would imagine.He had 67[%]of his flesh intstantly charred off his body,and in 1971 that wasnt considerd a survivable injury.He endured countless months of such incredible agony that no verbalization could accurately describe.The family had water brougt over from lourdes and his face was washed with it several times,and amazingly,his face never scarred.As soon as he could move again,he began painting.Now with the sole purpose of diverting his pain.He would relive that horrible moment every night in his dreams for the rest of his life.He would wake up in the night screaming in terror and agony,as the nerve endings in his grafted skin tried to grow back,which they never really completely did.painting became an outlet for his indescribable suffering.All his work was done in pain,which gives his paintings a child like quality,with shaky lines,vivid colors,and lots to look closely at from foreground to far backround,in a simplistic style reflective of grandma moses such as in his famous 'thanksgiving scene' which was donated to the Deposit,N.Y.historical society in nov.2002 by his son Joseph Esteves.Antonio said of his work,"The painting draws the fire out of my system and into the painting and I feel better".Hence the burning forest painting.It was one of his recurring night terrors that he just had to get out of his head.his work is published in several books,and can be found in the Brooklyn musem and several others.A good deal of his work is in the hands of some VERY lucky american folk art collecters around the world.His paintings range from 3500 to 12000 dollars depending on variuos factors.So be on the lookout for his work,you wouldnt want to pass it by.And remember,look closely.And take your time.Theres a lot of pain and tears in each one.
allLouis A Esteves
I'm hios grandson and have some of his paintings