With its effortlessly cool vibe, Superfine restaurant has been a DUMBO staple for nearly two decades. Owned by three women–a chef, an interior designer and a fine artist– the space is designed to enhance art in the community once almost entirely populated by artists. Tanya Rynd and Cara Lee Sparry curate the 30-foot wall adjacent the bar months in advance to highlight different artists every month. This is their second time showcasing Joe Gallagher, in what’s said to be his largest show to date.
The self-taught Brooklyn resident paints contemporary art that interprets what he sees in his everyday life using bright colors and graphic-style cartoon characters that he developed himself.
“Lately, most of my inspiration comes from observing people in New York. I’m interested in the decisions that people make that impact the direction of their lives,” Gallagher says. “Some of my inspiration comes from a wide array of human emotion from facial expressions that I see: happy, sad, angry, and more. It’s interesting for me to imagine what a day in the life of another person is like, and I think about that a lot when I’m creating.”
The characters portrayed in the 16 new paintings displayed in “New Faces” reflect people he sees on the train, the street, or on their phones, Gallagher says. The vibrant works often feature exaggerated and intertwined eyes and other features, which represent people who live together in different settings. “Sometimes my ideas are a summarization of something that happened throughout the day, other times I use symbolism to express my subconscious thoughts. My art is a representation of my personal experiences combined with exaggerated imagination.”
“New Faces” will be up at Superfine, 126 Front St., Dumbo, from Dec. 3 to Jan. 6, with a reception for the exhibition on Dec. 13 from 5-10pm.