We’ve come across paintings of Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel and original Thunderbolt roller coaster but rarely any of the legendary Cyclone. Are its classic twists, turns and drop as much of a dare for a painter as they are for a rider? This one painted in the 1960s by self-taught artist Vestie Davis (1903-1978) will be up for bid at a November 15th auction in Pittsfield, Mass., at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, and online via Live Auctioneers.
“I use very, very good paints–only the best–guaranteed to last,” Davis told New York Magazine in 1969. His method of painting was to make a sketch with India ink from a photograph and then transfer it to canvas using tracing paper and a light board. He began adding people to his paintings of New York scenes upon an art dealer’s recommendation.
Davis’s paintings of Coney’s beach, boardwalk and amusement rides have appeared on a New Yorker cover and are in the collection of the American Museum of Folk Art.
Measuring 16 inches high by 19.5 inches wide, the oil painting of the Cyclone is signed “Vestie Davis, 1965” and has a pre-sale estimate of $1,500-$2,500.
UPDATE: The painting sold for $3,100.
Related posts on ATZ…
December 13, 2014: Art of the Day: David Levine’s Watercolors of Coney Island
April 3, 2014: Rare & Vintage: 100-Year-Old Coney Island Ride Tickets
January 13, 2012: Rare & Vintage: Reginald Marsh Photos of Coney Island