Joe Lugara

The Jellyfish Invasion of Asbury Park

Watercolor and Ink on Paper, 19 1/2″ x 15″

Artist Statement

In the sixties, when I was a boy, my family often vacationed at Asbury Park, a resort town on the Jersey Shore. One holiday, when I must have been five or six years old, the beach was overrun with jellyfish—there was hardly a place where you could step safely. I’m a city kid; nature has always spooked me a little bit. Nature is wondrous and mysterious, but it can easily be ominous, and as a lyrical abstractionist I’ve always tried to drive home my sense of wonder and unease with one question: “If that shape in the painting were real, would I risk touching it?”

Joe Lugara took up drawing and painting as a boy after his father discarded them as hobbies. His works depict odd forms and objects, inexplicable phenomena, and fantastic dreamscapes, taking as their basis horror and science fiction films produced from the 1930s through the late 1960s. Lugara’s work has been featured in several publications and has appeared in more than 40 exhibitions in museums and galleries in the New York Metropolitan Area, including the New Jersey State Museum, the Noyes Museum of Art and 80 Washington Square East Galleries at New York University.

A Song for Joe

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