MIAMI, Dec. 23, 2010 — Historic Miami artist and sculptor Gideon, 86, passed away on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at his home and studios in Thomasville, Georgia after a lengthy illness.
He has been described as an "artist who borders on being an elemental force" whose own ambitions guided him in the development of revolutionary paints and sculpting compounds, technique, form and application that enabled him to create over 20,000 original works of art during his life. His paintings and sculptures include some of the world's most known subjects, including the famous Gideon Holocaust Collection.
Gideon was born in 1924 in Overland Park, Kansas. Growing up during The Great Depression made life very difficult. Despite these struggles, his interest in art persevered from an early age. The ability to create and innovate with limited means would become a pillar of his artistic legacy.
In 1943, Gideon enlisted in the Army. Based in Camp Blanding, Florida, he was assigned to the 66th "Black Panther" Division and placed in Field Artillery. He was one of a few in his division who became an Army Ranger. In Salzburg, Austria, overwhelmed with homeless civilians and victims liberated from the concentration camps, Army Ranger Gideon was charged with the task of guarding SS captives and tending to displaced persons.
Gideon witnessed, firsthand, things that have haunted both his dreams and his waking hours through all of the intervening years. Obsessed by the visions he experienced, Gideon went on to paint and sculpt some of the most harrowing and poignant images of post-Holocaust Europe ever produced.
After the war, Gideon settled in Miami, Florida, with "decorations for valor, memories of the kind of combat duty that scars you somewhere inside, and $300." Shortly after his arrival in Miami, he got married and had two children while beginning his commercial art career.
Throughout the 1950's and 60's, Gideon was contracted by many businesses to provide original works en masse. From an orange juice producer in Lakeland, Florida, to large art prints and reproduction companies and famous hotels, Gideon was in high demand and by some considered the "Top-Selling U.S. Artist."
For decades, Gideon created hundreds of magnificent paintings and sculptures. His heavy, thick paint was often a staple signature of his unique works. Coupled with heavy sculptured frames that Gideon made himself, these classics are highly sought by private collectors.
Over the years, Gideon created one of the most prolific collections of artwork by any one man. His private collection consists of over 5,000 original works. In recent years, Gideon sought a private collector, museum, or "treasure hunter" to acquire his personal collection and share it and his life story with society and generations to come.
In November of 2002, Gideon left Miami after 56 years and moved to Thomasville, Georgia, in an effort to get away from city life and rest peacefully.
For more information on Gideon, including biography and artwork, please visit the artist's website at . For questions, contact Rick Gideon Jr. (Email).
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