|Born in Austria, Bertha Halozan emigrated to the United States in 1956. She worked in hospitals, but also pursued a career as a singer. She eventually gave up her career as a singer because "I got a lot of publicity but very little money".
Bertha began painting in 1978 during her rehabilitation following a stroke. She generally painted the same subject - "a pigtailed, blue-eyed Statue of Liberty, surrounded by the busy activities of daily life in New York" usually including the Goodyear blimp and a Mets baseball player, John Franco, and a helicopter, and often showing red tile roofs on houses from an Austrian village in the background. For several years, she sold her paintings on a Manhattan street corner near the building in which she lived.
The reverse sides of her paintings pay homage to Bertha's past, with pasted and taped photocopies of old newspaper clippings dealing with various recitals she has given, including one at Carnegie Hall.
Ref: Contemporary American Folk Art, Chuck and Jan Rosenak (1996); Self Taught, Outsider and Folk Art, Betty-Carol Sellen (2000)
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