I first became aware of Joe Sorren’s work at Storyopolis in West Hollywood, that amazing children’s bookstore which has since relocated to the valley. What other kids book store has original Dr. Seuss drawings and vintage New Yorker cartoons?
There were two pieces hanging on a column at Storyopolis that caught my eye. They were the two posted below, “Those Two Guys…” and “Opus” which are now available at La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Feliz. Sorren’s work reminds me of those completely rare picture books I read as a kid that instead of simple adventures involving backyards and rabbits, were stories that were surreal and wild and scary and took me to places beyond what I could have imagined.
His paintings are a gentle moment of LSD lucidity with broad strokes of humor and playfulness and in each, underneath the surreal patina, a touch of something darker and sadder.
I love the fact that all bets are off when you paint; the idea that anything can happen captivates me.
I usually enter a painting with no ideas, and just begin applying paint to see what arrives. I find art to be most engaging when I am surprising myself. As long as I stay open for whatever to arrive, anything can show up for dinner.