There are many cliches that can be applied to this woman.
- Everything comes to those that wait
- Will wins out
- Follow your passion and your riches will follow
The amazing thing is not that it took more than half of her life to be recognized. Rather, that she is being recognized at all which is something that was unexpected for her.
Carmen Herrera is a minimalist abstract painter- before most people knew what minimalism in art was.
She painted for sixty years. No one bought a single painting. Although she had one or two shows in her early life, it and she went unnoticed. She did not receive recognition as a painter, nor did she pursue it or crave it. If you asked her what her career or passion was she would reply that she was an artist, a painter- even if that was for herself. Just as a writer is one that writes, because one has to, because it is part of that individual’s make-up.
Yet, despite Carmen’s private and insular habits, Ms. Herrera has been “discovered”. At the age of 94! The Observer of London called Ms. Herrera the discovery of the decade.
Persistence wills out!
The sale of Ms. Herrera’s first painting was at the age of 89 and at 94, she received a lifetime achievement award from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Art collectors are now clamoring for her works and they fetch handsome prices in the 6 and 7 figure range.
Carmen’s paintings now hang in the great art museums of the world like The Tate in London and MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York.
She didn’t get off to a running start, and she may not have known where she was going in life, but clearly, she has arrived!