Painted with aerosol and multi-layered stencils, Joe Iurato's murals and cut-outs are rendered in a clean illustrative aesthetic that is photo-realistic in its descriptive detail. His outdoor works directly engage with their urban settings and the artist's everyday experiences.Read More
For years, Iurato has been stencilling his own particular style of street art on walls across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Inspired by his everyday experiences, particularly as a father, many of his large- and small-scale murals feature children in the midst of play or sometimes sulking.
In 2011, Iurato created a stencilled work on a gate for Brooklyn's the Bushwick Collective. The mural depicts a child spray painting the phrase 'Never Let Go' onto the pavement in front of the artwork, which Iurato himself has spray painted onto the sidewalk. Such an environmental interaction is typical of his work.
Iurato works from photographs cut to make layers of stencils, which he then applies to his chosen surface. Colour is sometimes deployed to accentuate emphasis in one place while the picture itself is often largely black and white. Sometimes, his murals depict only the figures in black and white, while the background is rendered in colour.
In the late 2000s, Joe Iurato also began making miniature cut-outs of stencil-painted figures on wood and, more recently, on metal. It began with 'The Climbers Series', where the artist made cut-outs of his climbing hero John Bachar and placed them across New Jersey, where they appeared to be climbing up street signs or along cracks in brickwork.
Typically painted in a nostalgia-inducing black and white, the subjects of Iurato's cutouts have increasingly become more diverse; they include children playing, homeless people, roving musicians, skaters, fisherman in their boats, and much more, all interacting with their settings to tell a story.
Placing and photographing his figures in specific urban settings, Iurato draws attention to the smaller details of our environment. His photographs utilise a viewpoint that manipulates and confounds the viewer's perception of scale and the environment. Puddles become giant lakes, and a crack in the cement becomes a grand climb or a perilous ravine. 'I try to see the possibilities for a larger picture within a smaller space,' the artist has said.
While remaining dedicated to making art in public space, Iurato has also begun to make assemblages and prints for the gallery space. These include cut-out and reclaimed wood assemblages like the series 'Anotherworld', 'Configured', 'The Run Down' (all 2021), and Manic Progression (2017), as well as more conventional works on paper like 'Drippin' Dots' (2020).