The Sketches of Ernest

The Sketches of Ernest "Darcy" Chiriacka

Ernest "Darcy" Chiriacka

About The Sketches of Ernest "Darcy" Chiriacka

Ernest Chiriacka was born May 11, 1913 at home on Madison Street on the lower eastside of Manhattan.  The son of Greek immigrants, his Greek name, Anastassios Kyriakakos, was translated to Ernest Chiriacka when he entered school. His nickname, “Tasso”,used by family and friends when he was growing up was anglicized to Darcy by his wife, Kathryn.  Not only did he use this nickname as an adult, he also signing some of his earlier paintings as Darcy.

Ernest started drawing when he was three using the charcoal remnants from the wood burning stove in the kitchen of their tenement building. His teachers recognized his talent and he was chosen, at a young age, to participate in the drawing program offered at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. His training continued at the Art Students League in New York, the National Academy of Design Art School and the Grand Central School of Art in New York.

Ernest began his professional career painting signs in his neighborhood and taking photos for driving licenses. His talent was quickly recognized by publishers. Ernest’s paintings began to grace the covers for pulp magazines and he eventually became an illustrator for national magazines. The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, Argosy, and American Magazine were just some of the magazines that carried his illustrations.  In the early 1950’s he began painting the coveted Esquire “Pin-Up” calendar girls and continued to do so for five years. He was also commissioned to paint portraits of many leading film stars and created movie posters for major movie studios.

In the mid 1960’s Ernest retired from his work as an illustrator and began to focus on his passion of painting. He started traveling throughout Europe with Kathryn, making sketches and studies. These sketches were brought back to his Long Island studio to be developed into paintings.

As a young boy, Ernest had been fascinated with the Wild West. When the plight of the Native Americans became a national story during the 1973 “Siege of Wounded Knee”, his interest in the West was rekindled. Ernest began a study of Native American tribes, history, and culture. He and Kathryn spent months traveling in America’s Dakotas, West, and Southwest, where he would sketch and paint. These sketches would be developed into larger pieces of art and sculptures. He devoted many years to portraying various aspects of his great love, the American West.  His work offers an accurate representation of cowboy and Native American life during the Wild West period.

Ernest Chiriacka’s paintings are unique.  Thanks to his ability to use impressionistic techniques to capture a mood, tell a story, and depict dramatic landscapes.  The sketches in this book are the original studies done while he traveled, which were later used to create his paintings and sculpture.

The works of Ernest Chiriacka are exclusively handled by the Casweck Galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The Sketches of Ernest "Darcy" Chiriacka Print Editions


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