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Mechanic finds millions worth of art by abstract artist Francis Hines

A Connecticut man is poised to make millions after finding hundreds of artworks by an abstract artist known as “New York’s Wrapper” in a dumpster.

Auto mechanic Jared Whipple was made aware of Francis Hines’ trove of paintings and other artwork by a contractor clearing a barn for sale in Watertown in September 2017, CT Insider reported.

Whipple later found out that the artwork was created by Hines, a Washington, DC-born artist who lived in Connecticut and New York before his death in 2016 at the age of 96.

“Hines is truly New York’s wrapper,” art curator and historian Peter Hastings Falk told the news agency of the abstract expressionist’s tactic of wrapping objects in fabric.

Franz Hines
Francis Hines is known as the “New York wrapper”.
ZACH HYMAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
The Art of Francis Hines
The “boxed” paintings can sell for about $22,000 each and his drawings for about $4,500.
Instagram / @thewarehousect
Pictured: Jared Whipple, a Waterbury-based auto mechanic
Last year Jared Whipple showed some of the pieces at a gallery in Waterbury.
Courtesy of Jared Whipple

Hines shrouded more than 10 buildings in the Big Apple, including the Washington Square Arch, JFK Airport and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, art historian Peter Hastings Falk told the news agency.

Hines, whose art has been compared to that of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, also veiled installations across Europe, including the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

The hundreds of artworks — including paintings, sculptures and small drawings — are collectively worth millions of dollars, Hastings Falk told the outlet, adding that the “boxed” paintings sell for about $22,000 each and his drawings for about $4,500 be able.

Jared Whipple
Since finding the treasure chest, Jared Whipple has contacted Francis Hines’ family.
Instagram / @thewarehousect
Large canvases with painted car parts
The hundreds of artworks are collectively worth millions of dollars.
Instagram / @thewarehousect
Pictured: Jared Whipple, a Waterbury-based auto mechanic
Jared Whipple collaborates with New York City-based gallery Hollis Taggart on exhibitions in New York and Connecticut.
Courtesy of Jared Whipple

Whipple originally planned to have the artwork displayed at his indoor skateboard park called The Warehouse for Halloween, but decided to reach out to people in the art world when he realized who was behind the trove of pieces.

“I’ve always been a mechanic and well known in the skateboarding world but not in the art world. Trying to get people to even open your email and take you seriously was a big challenge,” he told CT Insider.

Muldoon Elger, a retired San Francisco art dealer who had exhibited works by Hines in the 1980s, connected Whipple to Hastings Falk.

The Washington Square Arch being veiled by artist Francis Hines, New York City, circa 1980.
The Washington Square Arch being veiled by artist Francis Hines, New York City, circa 1980.
PL Gould/PICTURES/Getty Images
The Washington Square Arch is wrapped by artist Francis Hines in New York City circa 1980.
Francis Hines wrapped more than 10 buildings in the Big Apple, including the Washington Square Arch.
PL Gould/PICTURES/Getty Images
Clearance of Hines' art
Jared Whipple originally planned to hang the artwork at his indoor skateboard park called The Warehouse for Halloween.
Courtesy of Jared Whipple

“I was so fascinated. I went to his garage there to look at the paintings. I was really surprised by what I saw,” Hastings Falk told the outlet.

Last year Whipple showed some of the pieces at a gallery in Waterbury and recently decided to sell some of the art.

He works with Gallery Hollis Taggart of New York City on exhibits in New York and Connecticut in shows beginning next month.

Pictured: Jared Whipple poses with Hines' art
Jared Whipple didn’t reveal exactly how many pieces he pulled out of the trash.
Courtesy of Jared Whipple
Francis Hines and Sandra Hines attend the SLAG Gallery opening for Dumitru Gorzo at SLAG Gallery June 12, 2008 in New York City
Francis Hines family has allowed Jared Whipple to keep and sell the art.
ZACH HYMAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Whipple didn’t reveal exactly how many pieces he pulled out of the trash, but said there are some he won’t be selling.

Since finding the treasury, Whipple has been in touch with the Hines family, who he says have allowed him to keep and sell the art.

“I pulled it out of that dumpster and fell in love with it,” Whipple told the news outlet. “I made a connection with that. My goal is to put Hines in the history books.”

https://nypost.com/2022/04/11/mechanic-finds-art-by-abstract-artist-francis-hines-worth-millions/ Mechanic finds millions worth of art by abstract artist Francis Hines

JACLYN DIAZ

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