Joseph Cavalieri is not your usual creator of stained-glass windows. Rather than produce images of Saints Jude, Francis, and Anthony, Cavalieri’s work has more often involved subjects like Gina Lollobrigida and the Incredible Hulk. He also has done a few works involving characters from The Simpsons.
A native of New York, Cavalieri is one of the more renowned practitioners of stained-glass works with pop subjects. His work has appeared at the Stax Museum and one of his patrons has been the movie director Morgan Spurlock. He studied at the School of Visual Arts, where he studied under Paula Scher and Milton Glaser. In 2010 he opened a glass studio in the East Village called CAVAglass Studios.
The same year he collaborated with the legendary comix artist Robert Crumb to produce a handful of marvelous stained-glass windows with familiar figures from Crumb’s work. In an email correspondence, Crumb rejected one image, of “the guy punching the girl’s head down into her body,” because “no one will like it.” He also told Cavalieri that he was “flattered that you’re making stain glass out of my stuff and hope you make some money off them!”
On the project, Cavalieri has said, “I am not reprinting his illustrations. I am placing them into gothic settings, and hand-painting each. He uses pen and ink on paper, and I am using paintbrush and enamel on glass. I’ve never done such precise work in my life. It’s probably similar to what a counterfeiter may feel.”
The work pops because it yokes together unlike elements: “I come from a graphic design background, and one thing I learned is if you put opposites together in an interesting way it draws attention to the work. . . . Comics and stained glass are good opposites.”
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Gorgeous stained glass windows of Aleister Crowley, William Burroughs and many more by Neal Fox