By Kiki Whartenby
Abstract artist and Memphian Paul Edelstein has been pursuing art since high school at White Station. After living in New York, he made many exciting connections with artists and collectors, delving into the historical side of art and paying homage to pieces like the Mona Lisa.
Paul Edelstein is an abstract artist who currently lives in Memphis. Though he was born in Kentucky, when he was about five months old, he was rushed to LeBonheur to get an emergency tracheotomy, causing him to have an interesting childhood, moving from Kentucky to Memphis a few times, but eventually settling in Memphis.
Edelstein was introduced to art from an early age, and while in high school at White Station, Edelstein befriended the son of a local artist. By the time he turned seventeen, he began pursuing his passion with her as his mentor, and for his birthday she gave him the key to her studio, allowing him to work there whenever he wanted.
Edelstein has had an exciting life to say the least. For a time he lived in New York, making connections with many famous artists and collectors including Margarie Liebman Betty Parsons, Keith Herring, Alice Neil, and Alice Martin. He has been a collector for about 40-45 years, even possessing an original Dürer at one point. Additionally, after meeting Eudora Welty, a famous short story writer, he stayed at her house and painted a portrait of it. In 1977 he went to Europe for the first time and visited many famous art museums. He was excited to see the Mona Lisa for the first time that he became overwhelmed and had a panic attack before he ever saw it. But, seeing the beauty of Monet’s Water Lilies for the first time was able to calm him. Now, Edelstein has more or less settled back home in Memphis. He had a daughter, who is now grown, and he is currently running Paul Edelstein Gallery.