About Us

I met Van Eno when he lived in Key West, Florida back in 1985. I met Van through a mutual friend named Frank Csaszar (a restaurant manager). Though I did not know Van well, he came across as a person who’s foremost pre-occupation and focus was his artwork. Van was in his 30′s, average build, stood about 5’8, with dark hair, dark complexion and mustached; he looked Italian but his ancestry, I believe, was English and French. I only met Van briefly and in passing around the island. Van died in 1986 due to complications from AIDS. His name is memorialized at the Key West Aids Memorial. A quilt is dedicated in his memory.

I describe Van’s artwork as detailed and whimsical, colorful reminiscent of the Dutch Masters. His use of bright and vivid colors are expressed in his paintings with exquisite details. Though I believe all his art are in private collections, I am not aware of any museums nor galleries that display any of his work.

It all began in 1985, when my friend Frank recommended that I “come see this apartment that Van would be vacating in the near future”. The apartment Van lived was “treehouse-like” and seem to float in this large “Bread-fruit” tree (also called a Sapidilla). The apartment was tucked away in the rear of a building, surrounded by dense tropical vegetation. The side of the house was lined with stands of coconut palm trees 3-stories tall. Occasionally, these coconut missiles would fall with a loud thump causing your heart to skip a beat. It would have been impossible to have known that this place existed from the street. As we approached the 2nd story deck of the house, Van wasn’t home but the front glass-sliding door was unlocked. We let ourselves in. The sliding door opened to a large great room, the front was utilized as a sitting/living area and beyond that what would have been the dining area was used as a makeshift studio. It had a cathedral ceiling, sparsely furnished and in need of a good dusting. In his makeshift studio, there were several easels and tubes of paint reasonably organized and displayed. Several small pieces of brown paper dropcloth with splattered paint were incidentally scattered about the floor. Evidence of his work was there but it was obviously not his primarily workspace. The lighting just did not seem right for an artist studio and Van was known to create large canvas paintings which this space could not have accomodated. There were also no work in progress and devoid of any recent work. The energy of the room felt as if the owner had not been home for weeks or even months. Frank later informed me that Van was out of town. Shortly after that first visit, I moved into Van’s old apartment and lived there for several years. To this day, that apartment had always been my favorite place to live in Key West.

Twenty years later, I continue to admire and appreciate Van’s work. One of his paintings Only Her Hairdresser Knows continues to grace my living room wall.

So, if you own an original Van Eno painting … I love to see a picture of it.
If you know Van personally … I love to hear your story. Sign my Guestbook!