" We are blind and live our blind lives out of blindness . Poets are damned but they are not blind , they see with the eyes of angels "
- William Carlos Williams
Ted Diamond's art came from a creative mind trapped between despair and ecstasy. His often frenzied, improvisational, but sophisticated compositions have a profound association with poetry and jazz-- the visual equivalent of the voices of Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs and the music of Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. He was of their time in the 1960’s, and his work reflects the free- form expressionism of the era. These truly original, brilliantly colored gouaches on paper deserve the recognition they are now receiving.
- Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator Emeritus Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
J. Theodore “Ted” Diamond (American 1938-1986) was diagnosed with schizophrenia early on and spent much of his life in the public psychiatric ward of Boston General Hospital; he would eventually take his own life in 1986 at the age of forty-seven. Although he studied at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Diamond never developed a professional career, spending much of his life obsessed by personal demons.
After his passing, a few hundred paintings that had been mounted in notebooks and kept in Diamond’s room were found by a dear friend who kept them safe for over 30 years. Stuart Denenberg, who is co-curating the exhibition with his wife Beverly, met Diamond in the mid 1960s and purchased two self-portraits. However Denenberg was unprepared for the staggering trove of figures, fragmented ghostly images, and portraits recovered after Diamond’s death - including many intense self-portraits and densely populated scenes of Diamond’s fellow residents. Even the few sheets that seem to be nearly complete abstractions are loaded with emotion.
Evoking James Ensor and Francis Bacon—with powerful scale beyond their humble size thanks to deeply moving, unfiltered content—Diamond’s work is elevated by keen draughtsmanship and superb color sensibility. These arresting works of an "outsider" have, until this moment, never been seen out of the notebooks in which they had been carefully preserved for over 50 years. The Good Luck Gallery is thrilled to partner for this deeply personal exhibition with Stuart and Beverly Denenberg of Denenberg Fine Arts, who have been pioneering curators for over fifty years.