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FEATURED ARTIST: Joseph Cavalieri

2014 May 27

Learn more about Featured Artist Joseph Cavalieri!hold the

Twinkies abound in the art world.  You know, that work that grabs your attention with some knock-off aesthetic resembling a Pop Art master only to leave you with calorie-dense, nutrient empty content.  I see a lot of it.  Jurists and directors the world over see a lot of it.  As a result, illustrators and graphic designers have frequently been left out of “all media” shows without so much as a thank-you-very-much-for-the-entry-fee.

Not today.  The work of this month’s artist has more than just a cream center.  I have a soft spot for the catch-more-flies-with-honey feel of this work.  The delivery is almost Southern.

Learn more about Featured Artist Joseph Cavalieri!I am proud to welcome Joseph Cavalieri as AAAD’s latest Featured Artist. This work shines a spotlight on  the baggage of life, both in celebration and lament, while wrapping it in the razzle dazzle of popular culture.  It feels a little like I just heard a song on Top 40 radio that had lyrics of substance.  Rare.


Joseph Cavalieri


Joseph Cavalieri is a native New Yorker, based in the East Village, and one-hundred percent of his life is spent as an artist and educator.  Since 1997 Joseph has been exhibiting painted, air brushed and silk-screened stained glass.

Muscle Addiction by Featured Artist Joseph Cavalieri!In 2013 Joseph had four one-man shows, and “Madonna & Prada” was acquired for the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design. Cavalieri also has work in the permanent collection of the Leslie-Lohman Museum, in Manhattan.  Joseph’s MTA Arts for Transit public art commission can be viewed at the Philipse Manor Train Station in Westchester, New York.

Cavalieri’s unique glass art techniques combine modern elements with time-honored processes used by Medieval stained glass artists.


Women figure prominently in your work.  Friend or foe? “Being the youngest of seven children, five sisters and one brother, I was a bit confused when was exactly my mother. I was constantly passed around from sibling to sibling. I this is one reason why I work so well with women, and have featured many in my work… I really have always “got them” from an early age.”

Evil by Featured Artist Joseph Cavalieri!Are you self-taught or formally instructed?  “I come from a graphic design background, art directing at GQ, Good Housekeeping and People magazines.  (Yes, I helped decide what was the best and worst dressed and the sexiest man.)  During this time I took a variety of classes at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn and became hooked on using glass as my canvas.  Now as a full time artist I teach these techniques, mixed with what I learned as an art director– around the world.”

Talk to me about your process.“I use different techniques in my work–airbrush, silk-screening, and painting.  But, I still feel I am a graphic designer.

“I am an artist working on posters made of glass.”


“Glowing, back lit glass is very similar to a computer screen or iPad, and immediately seen from a distance.  No wonder the church used it to tell the message of the Bible… a very early version of illuminated advertisement .”

Smoking Addiction by Featured Artist Joseph Cavalieri!I notice a huge portraiture influence even on the pieces that prominently feature a portrait.  Confess…  “I may be the first artist to place an image of an African American man in stained glass. I have done many portraits, ranging from Agnes Moorehead, Jackie O, The Lady Bunny and Isaac Hayes. Why? When I visit a gallery, portraits are what I am drawn to the most, and I find them to be the most challenging. Plus, we all know Agnes Moorehead IS a friggin’ goddess!”

Talk to me about your inspiration.  “One of my more popular series was based on modern day addictions.  It was shown in a church here in Manhattan.  We are all surrounded by addiction, but we don’t all create work about it.  The inspiration for these 10 pieces came for deep in my heart, with some humorous elements that are deep down there too.  I did use one swear word in a panel, which a priest covered with black tape for the run of the show.”  Electrical tape?  Perfect.  I’m sure THAT is archival. *snicker*

Gluttonize by Featured Artist Joseph Cavalieri!Talk to me about the two artists (one living, one dead) that have most influenced your work, and tell us why.  “Dead, it would be Fortunato Depero, who created very graphic posters for Campari.  Living, Matthew Dayler, also very graphic work with an edge.”

What if your favorite snack food obsession?  “I recently taught a workshop in Zurich & brought a few silk-screens with me for the students to use.  One was of a Twinkie®, which, since I was 12 years old has been one of my personal obsessions.  I had used this image in work named “Gluttonize” which was a stained glass window based on food addictions.  Surprisingly, the class had no idea what Twinkies were or are!  After a long explanation they asked me to bring a case when I return to teach in 2015.”

What’s coming up next for you?  “Opening June 20th is “NYC Makers” at the Museum of Arts & Design in NY. I have a large portrait of Jackie O in this Biennial, silk-screened on glass.”

Thank you, Joseph, for being more than the gooey middle.

Learn more about Featured Artist Joseph Cavalieri!

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