Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Joe Chierchio on Drive-In Nostalgia and More

Joe Chierchio's artwork used for the July 24, 2020 issue of Dan's Papers
Joe Chierchio’s artwork used for the July 24, 2020 issue of Dan’s Papers

Longtime cover artist Joe Chierchio talks nostalgia, his background in advertising and more.

What was the inspiration for this piece?
I always have fun memories of drive-in movies back in the ’50s. I lived in Brooklyn and we would drive to the drive-in movie on Sunrise Highway, see Rebel Without a Cause then go for pizza—fond memories.

Drive-in movies come with a lot of nostalgia. Did that factor into your piece?
Nostalgia has always been a strong influence on my work. It’s like driving a car keeping an eye on the rear view mirror. I blend nostalgia and the present in a contemporary way. I love the past, from vintage cars to superheroes from the ’50s.

Colorful works by Joe Chierchio, Images: Courtesy Chierchio
Colorful works by Joe Chierchio, Images: Courtesy Chierchio

Talk about your art style.
My style is semi-realist. I like creating a story or narrative so the viewer can get involved.

Tell us about your artistic process.
From my days as a “Mad Men” art director in advertising, the idea always came first, then the execution. When I was teaching advertising art at the School of Visual Arts, I taught that ideas, ideas, ideas sell products.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
I wanted to be a professional baseball player. The Brooklyn Dodgers were my heroes. When the Burns left Brooklyn and relocated to California, it broke my heart. It still hurts.

What inspires you the most?
Waking up in the morning knowing I have my artwork waiting gives me so much joy and pleasure. Now with COVID-19, I am creating more art work than ever. Being at home in my studio is a great creative escape.

See more of Joe Chierchio’s art at Arthur T. Kalaher Fine Art, 28E Jobs Lane, Southampton, and at joechierchioart.com.


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