The icon: Sam Cortese.
The legacy: Young Sam Cortese didn't have a choice, really. After losing his legs in a childhood streetcar accident -- and then being kicked out of school after third grade because of his disability -- he had to work. So that's what he did, as a New Orleans street vendor hawking fruit and vegetables in the summer, and coal in the winter. Noticing how quickly his customers snapped up the sticks of chewing candy he occasionally sold -- made by his mother using a recipe from her native Sicily -- he decided in 1915 to change business strategies, ditching the veggies and selling the candy for a nickel a stick from his iconic red-and-white horse-drawn wagon. The Roman Candy Man was born, a sweet-as-can-be tradition that continues today to serve up a taste of old New Orleans.
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Acrylic paint and oil tinted varnish on wood board
20" x 20"
Shipping cost: $100.00
I was born and raised in New Orleans with 35 years as a commercial graphic artist working for corporate companies throughout the New Orleans area. I received a Commercial Art degree from Delgado Community College. I've also studied at the University of Southeastern Louisiana and various artist workshops throughout Louisiana.
The subjects I choose to paint are usually subjects that remind me of my southern roots. The music, the people, the food, the cultures, etc. All that is New Orleans and its roots. I have what you might call an impressionistic style. I call it contemporary folk art with quick wide brush strokes and flashes of color, highlighted with gold leaf and raised texture. I am always trying to bring across my love for the southern area and it's people to my paintings.
Connie Kittok is a New Orleans artist living and working in the Uptown neighborhood.
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