Richard Timperio’s Passing Breaks Art’s Heart

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Richard Timperio at his front desk at the Sideshow gallery, during the opening of Inside Outsider Outside Insider on July 28th.

Without artist, curator, Sideshow gallery owner, Richard Timperio, the art scene of Williamsburg Brooklyn would have had a much less distinctive vibrancy. “It is not every art dealer who calls forth the kind of widespread, genuinely personal mourning that greeted the demise of Richard Timperio,” Piri Halasz wrote in “Art Critical”.

Ed Brittenham, a local art enthusiast and a St. Nicks Alliance Board Member shared a memory on the annual Sideshow Nation group show, “It was held each January, early in the new year.  Hundreds of local artists participated, young and old, established and emerging.  Practically every inch of the gallery’s wall space from floor to ceiling was covered with paintings, drawings, and photos of every size, medium, and description.  There were usually a few free standing sculptures on the floor or mobiles hanging from the ceiling as well. The opening was a hugely popular community event.  The gallery got so full that a line of people would form outside and stretch around the corner, waiting in the cold for their turn to enter.   And once you finally got to the entrance, there was Richie with a cowboy hat on his head, a glass of red wine in his hand, and a big smile to welcome you.  The openness, inclusiveness, and just plain fun of these shows exemplified the wonderful friendly person that Richie was, and his great contribution to the Williamsburg arts community.”

“As a young painter new to the Williamsburg art scene, I will always remember Richard’s generosity and ambition to mount the Sideshow Nation shows year after year. As an annual contributor, I felt that Richard connected a community of artists each year to share in the abundance of his artistic vision. And of course, one cannot forget his smile,”said Lisa Gutting, a local artist and St. Nicks Alliance Board Member

Timperio started making his mark in Williamsburg during the artist wave that moved here when Soho and E. and W. Village rents priced out the creative set in the 80s. He began staging work around the neighborhood in restaurants such as at Planet Thailand’s original narrow space on Bedford Avenue and at Vera Cruz (also on Bedford) during its early prime time. In 2000 he opened the Sideshow (319 Bedford Ave.) with the vision (in his words), “to provide a forum for all art that attains a high level of quality and embodies integrity, regardless of style or approach: a place where the art itself is the only thing that matters.”

I can’t imagine what Williamsburg would have been without him. I can’t imagine what Williamsburg will be without him.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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