Sylvain Arts

About Us​

About Us​


The Art Gallery


Sylvain Chonigman

Sylvain was the first American born child in his family. His father was from Paris, France, and his mother from Brussels, Belgium. He grew up speaking French at home. To honor his mother and father Sylvain has titled all his paintings in French.

In his early years he spent a lot of time going to museums and looking at books of paintings from the early 1100’s through the modern paintings of the day, At the ripe old age of 23 he spent a summer working as a front office cashier for a large hotel in the Catskills. During the day, Sylvain would often walk through the lobby where he would watch a Chinese painter, (a really fine classical portrait artist by the name of Jo Hing Lowe), do someone’s portrait within a week. This fascinated him and he and Jo began talking, became friends, and occasionally played a game of Chinese Chess.

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Hendrik Morella - CEO / FOUNDER
The summer ended and he returned to his home in Westchester County, NY where he met the man who was going to be his mentor and 2nd father for the next thirty years. The teacher’s name was Cesare Borgia and Cesare had been a student of the great American illustrator Frank Reilly. Cesare was already a master painter and art teacher when Sylvain met him. Cesare was also a concert violinist, having played under the likes of Toscanini, Metropolis, Bernstein, and Fiedler.
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Mr. Anthony "Tony" Goldman

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The Beginning & Mission​

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The most important phase of a child's life was the beginning of it

At the age of 8, Sylvain began painting and playing the piano. He started his studies with Cesare Borgia at the age of 23. Frank Reilly, a legendary American illustrator, had taught Cesare how to draw and paint.

When Sylvain first met Cesare, he was already a well-known painter and art instructor.

Cesare was also a concert violinist who played under Toscanini, Metropolis, Bernstein, and Fiedler, among others. He frequently drove Cesare to the school Cesare built in White Plains, The Reilly League of Artists, which he had named after his former teacher. He made him observe as he instructed the nearby artists.

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Inspiration comes from within yourself

Sylvain spent a summer at the age of 23 working as a front desk cashier for a sizable hotel in the Catskills. Sylvain would frequently go into the lobby during the day to observe a Chinese painter who could finish a picture within a week. As a result of his fascination, he and Jo got to talking, grew close, and occasionally played a game of Chinese chess together.

In his family, Sylvain was the first child born in the United States. His mother was from Brussels, Belgium, He grew up speaking French at home while his father was from Paris, France. He learned French at home as a child. Sylvain has given all of his paintings French titles as a tribute to his parents. In his formative years, he devoted a lot of time to visiting museums and perusing books of artwork from the early 1100s to the contemporary works of the period

If you're a good artist, you should be able to paint anything

Sylvain immediately felt the urge to pursue music education and art alongside. Cesare was his music and artistic tutor for thirty years, and Sylvain was his understudy. Sylvain retired from music teaching in December 2018 after 40 years of service and has since focused solely on painting. He paints abstracts in addition to traditional portraits, animals, and landscapes.

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He hopes that people enjoy all his works, classical and modern.

Art Gallery & Collection