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Joe Lugara
Newark, NJ

Artwork Details
Observer V

19.5" x 15"

Joe Lugara graduated from Seton Hall University, and currently resides in Union. Working mainly with limited media, usually only watercolor, ink, and crayon, Lugara creates works of striking intensity.  In describing his creative process, he states, “I try to set down my immediate mood. I work quickly and on a modest scale, so whatever my humor is, for whatever reason, I'm able to follow it all the way to the end of the painting. The picture becomes a record of a brief psychological period.”

He made his first paintings by copying the covers of a favorite childhood fan magazine devoted to horror films titled Famous Monsters of Filmland.  Of his roots, he states: “I owe very nearly my entire visual vocabulary as a painter to the horror films of the 1930’s and 40’s, the ones I watched on late night television.  I certainly don’t paint Frankensteins and Draculas anymore, but I can say with confidence that something of the spirit of those films has become a kind of permanent theme in my work: That sense they had that the world is a mysteriously appealing, but also mysteriously perilous, place.”

In addition to his visual work, Lugara has written short fiction and was a former award-winning reporter and journalist, and now works in marketing.  His art criticism earned him the New Jersey Press Association Awards in both 1999 and 2000.  His work has been exhibited throughout New Jersey and New York City in both group and solo exhibitions, including the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts in Summit, the Atlantic City Art Center, and the Schering-Plough Corporation World Headquarters.  He was awarded the 2007 Curtis Hillyer Memorial Award for Watercolor.