Rising NJ Artist Michael Steinbrick's Photorealistic Paintings on View This Fall at SOPAC

Rising NJ Artist Michael Steinbrick's Photorealistic Paintings on View This Fall at SOPACThe South Orange Performing Arts Center's Herb and Milly Iris Gallery will host a new exhibit from New Jersey artist Michael Steinbrick featuring photorealistic paintings of New York City that, in many cases, include thought-provoking commentary about today's world.

Steinbrick's "Reflect: NYC" show, which will be on display from Sept. 11 through Nov. 24 with a free opening reception on Sept. 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., contains 17 artistic renderings of photographs the painter himself took while exploring the streets of Manhattan. For each piece, he made sure to capture every minute detail of his original picture so that viewers can feel the energy and excitement of the city. At the same time, Steinbrick hopes they will experience what inspired him to recreate each image - the magic of that particular second in time.

"My paintings aren't cityscapes," Steinbrick said. "I capture moments where everything lines up perfectly, whether it be shape, form or color. Everything lines up in synchronicity, and it creates a powerful moment."

But not all of Steinbrick's pieces are exact replications - many have been altered to make compelling statements. For instance, in "Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean," the artist added a whitewashed Black Lives Matter sign next to an African-American boy popping bubbles to signify that black youth is "bursting the bubble" on the whitewashing of black history. And in "Sycamore," he painted a Muslim woman sitting in a gated cemetery in front of the Freedom Tower, indicating that she is free of societal constructs that imprison her.

These intricate inner narratives are partly what impressEd Gallery curator Jeremy Moss enough to bring Steinbrick to SOPAC. Moss said he enjoys the fact that art patrons can view the same painting multiple times yet still notice new details of the story it tells. Plus, as a photographer himself, he appreciates the realism of each work.

"What I love is that when you look at them from a distance, he's so good at his photorealism that you're actually asking yourself if that's a photographic image," Moss said. "When I saw them from a distance I went to him and I remember saying quite clearly 'Michael, that's a painting?' That, to me, is an incredible talent to have."

"Reflect: NYC" puts that talent on display for the first time in Essex County following Steinbrick's previous shows in New York City and Jersey City. And SOPAC is thrilled to give its visitors the chance to see the up-and-coming artist's work locally. According to gallery coordinator Linda Beard, the "phenomenal show" is a great step forward in the evolution of the venue.

"We're very, very happy to have him," Beard said. "It says something about how the gallery is growing and attracting higher quality artists. And I'm so excited about that and all the new things to come from having Michael exhibiting."

The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery brings contemporary art to the community, providing artists opportunities to reach new audiences. The Gallery is designed for moviegoers, theater enthusiasts, art lovers, and all citizens of South Orange alike to have an opportunity to further enrich their cultural lives. The Gallery is the impetus of former SOPAC Board Member Milly Iris who had an extensive art collection, was an art teacher, and the former owner/director of South Orange's Whichcraft Gallery. Along with her husband, Herb, Milly was a longtime supporter of SOPAC.

Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The premier arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. To further expand its offerings, SOPAC has a partnership with the Juilliard School of Music to present Juilliard @ SOPAC - a series featuring upcoming musicians from the acclaimed conservatory. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council's performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz 'N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions. SOPAC also presents performances by its theater company in-residence, American Theater Group. For more information, visit SOPACnow.org.

Related Articles View More New Jersey Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram