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Hank Blaustein's gift for design evident in latest show

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A series of sketches and watercolor paintings by Hank Blaustein are currently on view in Chelsea. The exhibition, Drawn to Life: A Sketchbook Diary, features eloquent and detailed works by Blaustein who has been drawing his observations of the world around him, from the moment he could hold a pencil. Blaustein’s subjects are people, places, and various aspects of life that catch his eye. He re-creates what he sees exactly how he sees them, and effectively captures the soul and personality.

One notable watercolor piece, Budapest Chess and Budapest Baths depicts a group of four men outside, presumably on a hot summer day as they all appear topless. Two of the men are sitting at one table playing in a game of chess; one man has a stern expression on his face while the other looks very bored.

One of the other men in the image is looking over the bored man’s shoulder, and the fourth man is sitting at a neighboring table where he’s resting his foot and watching the other two men finish the game. Blaustein excels greatly at capturing the relaxed ambience of the scene.

Other notable works in the show include 7th Avenue Sterling Place where Blaustein brings to life an elegant complex of apartments on a peaceful street corner, and Teatro Massimo Palermo that features a man in the audience of a theater with his arm draped over the balcony as he listens to and watches the performance.

Blaustein is a native of Brooklyn and is a frequent traveler to many places across the country and around the world. He is constantly inspired by the world around him whether it's in his hometown or on his many adventures. He has won many awards in group shows such as the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, and he’s had solo shows at Gallery at Lincoln Center and A.M. Adler, in New York, and Morgan State University in Baltimore.

In addition, Blaustein is a popular choice for editorial and book illustration with his work being featured in major publications such as Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and Barron’s, as well as the New York Times, the Village Voice, Newsday, the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and the New Yorker.

At The Blue Mountain Gallery, 530 W. 25th St., through Jul. 26. The gallery is open Tues.—Sat. from 11 a.m.—6 p.m.

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