Charlie Dougherty, Bleecker St. sidewalk artist
Village friends of Charlie Dougherty, who sold his pen-and-ink drawings done on cardboard from his impromptu sidewalk gallery on Bleecker St. for the past two decades, are planning a memorial benefit on Tuesday afternoon Feb. 21 at 1849 Bar and Restaurant at 183 Bleecker St.
He died at the age of about 50 on Feb. 10, and his friends, unable to find a sister whom they believe may be his only living relative, want to raise money for his burial someplace other than potters field, said Maureen Remacle, a Bleecker St. resident and president of the Sixth Police Precinct Community Council.
Charlie Dougherty would quietly offer his sketches of Village streets and buildings from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on mild evenings from his usual post on Bleecker St. near the old Circle-in-the-Square Theater, although recently because of construction, he moved down the block by the Ralph Lauren store, closer to Sixth Ave.
His low prices, ranging from $1 to $15, appeared to be based on whatever the customer wanted to pay. In a July 24, 2005, New York Times article, he was quoted as saying, As long as Im not hungry and my rent is paid, I dont worry about the price.
One of his drawings is of the old location of Joes Pizza, at 7 Carmine St. at Bleecker St., and is reproduced on the box covers of Joes pizzas. Another favorite subject was the doorway of 9 Minetta St., between Sixth Ave. and Minetta La., which he described as looking like an old temple. He also liked to draw the exterior of the Salmagundi Club, at Fifth Ave. and 12th St., which he called a Henry James kind of building that reminded him of his grandmother in old Ireland,
The Feb. 21 benefit at 183 Bleecker St., between MacDougal and Sullivan Sts., will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.