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Blinky Palermo
Mirror Object
Hessel Museum of Art
photo Chris Kendall
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by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp

When Peter Heisterkamp abandoned the name provided by his German foster parents in favor of Blinky Palermo, the lively moniker of Sonny Liston’s boxing manager, he made a declaration of independence from his European roots. A native of Leipzig, student of Joseph Beuys, friend of older artist Gerhard Richter, Palermo struggled throughout his brief career to find a methodology for painting that could be justified during the politicized 1960s and 1970s.