Born in Liverpool, the expressionist painter Yankel Feather was of Austrian-Russian parentage, and overcame a very hard early life to become the difficult, ebullient and sometimes irritatingly perverse artist that he became. His talent was enormous and Terry FROST, whom he first met in 1947 when Feather exhibited at the Penwith Society of Arts in St Ives, was to express it well: 'Full of talent, bursting with a trapped enthusiasm, supported by a genuine love of art and art history.'
His talent was nurtured by the constant visits to public galleries in Liverpool and London, and his techniques were self-taught and based on what he observed from the masters. Through various jobs and WWII war work, he struggled to make a living. It was not until he began to sell antiques and buy into nightclubs, that he began to make influential and wealthy friends amongst the 'Beat Generation' of musicians and artists, who could buy his paintings - friends such as Brian Epstein, the Beatles, Cilla Black and many others, and with whom he kept up a lively social calendar.
That calendar included Cornwall, where he became acquainted with many fellow artists - Terry FROST, Rose HILTON, Mary STORK, Jane AKEROYD, Maurice SUMRAY, many others - and especially after 1977 when he retired from selling antiques in the north and moved to Cornwall. He was always a gossip, and frequently irascible, but was an entertaining and sizzling companion to be with at a party and in later life, a prolific artist, keeping studios in Cornwall and Brighton, Sussex.
He lived near St Just for 20 years together with his gentle and tireless friend, Bill King, one of two long-term partners that he met late in life. He was a sometime member of the Newlyn Society of Artists, but resigned in disgust upon one or two occasions (probably with good reason!). He also remained a member of the Liverpool Academy of Arts.
Solos: 1986-94: Salt House Gallery, St Ives; Beaux Arts, St Ives & London; Wills Lane Gallery St Ives
1996: New Millenium Gallery, St Ives
2000: Salt House Gallery, St Ives
Group shows (Cornwall):
1947: Penwith Society of Arts
1997: Rainyday Gallery, Penzance
Liverpool Academy of Art