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About Ben Weiss

Ben WeissDepending who you are, the saga of Ben Weiss is common or uncommon knowledge. How he grew up in the orphanage that is now Miriam Hospital, went on to study and later teach at the Rhode Island School of Design, the way he laid claim on real estate and suffered the slings and arrows of outrage at his success, and then won the respect and good will of his neighbors in Fox Point, are all key parts of his colorful life, with residences in Providence, Rhode Island and Paris, France.

Born in 1924 in Poland, Weiss served in the United States Armed Forces. While there he did some superb sketches of his fellow G.I.s and the sailors aboard the troop ships. In the postwar world, he painted liberated Paris, brought back a French bride and raised a bi-lingual son, Pascal.

His only current homestead is the house nestled between Coffee Exchange and Zog. It houses a Japanese restaurant, Sakura, and a meandering gallery of Weiss works that travel along the circular stairway, the corridors and the chambers of Ben's upstairs lair, the site of a thousand inventive interior designs, gadgets and work tables. The building stands just a wee bit back from the street itself. Ben is a member of the Providence Art Club.

"I like the work of Mondrian, with its neat and cheerful geometric shapes," says Weiss, smiling under his magical crop of white hair, like a true wizard of an actual Oz. "When New Orleans was flooded, I thought I would rescue its French look and harbor its traditions right here at home."

The soul of a true artist who enjoys every moment of every day, each challenge of the chapters of a life, sparkling and twinkling, like the fabulous figure he is."

Thurs Dec.01, '05 -Contributed by Mike Fink, Reporter

David Gold, Photographer Ben Weiss Painter Beatrice Melicio, ModelBen Weiss, Painter and David Gold, Film Photographer " A Collaboration"

Ben Weiss was a well known international artist/painter having residences in Paris and in Providence, Rhode Island. Ben Weiss together with his brothers and my mother, Josephine Kortick Gold , together with her brothers spent the latter part of the 1920's into the early part of the David Gold and Ben Weiss At Work1930's at the Jewish Orphange in Providence, Rhode Island USA. The bonds between siblings and Ben and my mom and her brother Leonard Kortick were lifelong.

Ben Weiss -w- SketchI met Ben some 70 years later and we became instant friends. Ben was 87 at his death of age. Ben was a known artist/painter with residences in Paris and Providence and we were eager to do something as a show of mutual respect for one another's artistic expression - painting/sketching and film photography.

We spent an afternoon in the enchanted Gold Forest in North Smithfield, Rhode Island Ben Weiss -w- David Goldphotographing and sketching our model, and my muse , Beatriz Melicio. ...the resulting collaboration may be a unique historical representation of the arts.

David, Ben and Beatriz at Gold ForestThe photos are representative of our collaboration and were taken by Karen Pietropaoli. She is an IT Gal at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence where Ben studied and taught art during the 1940's - 1980's.