As recently as June both artists worked within eyeshot of one another for the Welling Court mural project. With this familiarity, visitors may think that they’ve seen every iteration of the Stain/Iurato pairing. However, both artists have gone above and beyond the labor required for a typical gallery show and the results are astounding.
On the surface, Chris Stain and Joe Iurato appear to be tied together because of their stylistic choices. Both typically work in minimalistic color palettes, with the occasional pop of color thrown in for good measure. Both depict relatively realistic portraiture.
However, when put side by side in a gallery instead of spread out over blocks, it is the outstanding differences of these artists that makes the work of Iurato and Stain that makes viewers’ knees buckle in awe. Stain is known for depicting the everyday man. Drawing upon his working class background, whether it is a former student of his or someone else from his life, the artist renders portraits of people that are highly relatable.
In contrast, Iurato takes what would look like your average person walking on the street and adds hints of the divine. Many of the pieces that the artist created for Deep In The Cut show his hooded modern day saints, emblazoned with halos. By placing modern day saints in conversation with working class hero, Mighty Tanaka has created a dialogue that has to be seen for the full impact to come across. As with many ethereal things, words cannot do it justice.
Photos by Rhiannon Platt