New York City
To ready the latest show in the Gallery — Park & Parcel: Watercolors by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder —we worked with master-framer Yaqub Esmaelsadeh, aka Jacob, the proprietor of Decor Art Gallery.
Born in Kabul, he finished high school in 1979 — precisely three days after the Soviet war began — and promptly left to study medicine in West Germany. Once he graduated from Medical School in Hamburg in 1998, he first visited — and instantaneously fell in love with New York.
After moving to the United States, Esmaelsadah began framing as a part-time job while attending ESL classes in New Paltz. In framing, he found both a career path and an opportunity to express himself creatively. In 1991, he opened the Decor Art Gallery at 337 Park Ave South. He considers himself a pioneer in offering affordable, high quality wood frames.
How has the neighborhood changed since 1991?
I’m one of the few left small businesses in this area. This neighborhood had bad reputation at times but now, it’s one of the most beautiful places in New York. Sometimes I go to Madison Square Park to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
What are some of the more memorable things you’ve framed?
Rifles, Berlin Wall pieces, or a ketubah using the pieces of broken glass from the ceremony…
At a museum, do you ever look at the frames before the art?
Oh yes, not just in museums. Wherever I go, my first attention is on the frames. That’s one of the biggest changes on me, and my house looks like a museum.
Did you ever frame Roger Rabbit?
A few years back, Disney cels were big in the market and we were framing almost every one of those characters…and also Roger Rabbit.
We teamed up with Mad. Sq. Arts to present Park and Parcels. The opening reception is tomorrow at 5pm in the Gallery at Ace Hotel New York.