Jean-Marie Haessle arrived from France as a 28-year-old with virtually no English, a few hundred dollars in his pocket and a big dream in his heart. Our reporter conducted what turned out to be the last interview ever with the internationally known expressionist painter in which he vowed he’d keep painting ‘until my last breath.” And then she received the stunning news this week that he died suddenly of a heart attack. The interview is unchanged. These are the last words of the famed French-born artist who came to NYC as a young man.

17 Apr 2024 | 01:43

“I was going to be the next Van Gogh, but I found my own way.”

Famed 84-year-old expressionist artist Jean-Marie Haessle is a true New York–as well as immigrant–success story. Arriving here in 1967 with $200 in his pocket and speaking very little English, Haessle’s paintings now sell for thousands on...