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Fine Art PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

440 Gallery announces “Side Streets” by James Acevedo

An exhibition of city scenes by James Acevedo on view Jan 11 – February 18, 2023

BROOKLYN, NY – 440 Gallery is pleased to present Side Streets, a solo exhibition of paintings depicting city scenes by James Acevedo. Acevedo’s colorful and bold acrylic paintings straddle the abstract and figurative. Despite the everyday nature of what is seen, be it a group of pigeons or a water tower, Acevedo draws the viewer into a mysterious yet familiar reality, questioning where and who you are. This is Acevedo’s first solo show at 440 Gallery.

Acevedo’s paintings delicately blend contradictory elements. The subjects are common, but the discordant mood is otherworldly. The artist’s use of garish colors, slashing brushstrokes and a tilted view is unnerving. Is this a picture postcard or a nightmare? Acevedo uses the city as a springboard to explore identity and memory.

Side Streets does not depict familiar areas, such as Wall Street or Broadway, but reveals the roads less taken. Although the title 14th Street Corner and 7th Avenue is specific, the painting’s intersection feels anonymous. The street sign says 7th Avenue, but in this context the number seems more symbolic than literal. Inanimate objects frame the painting: an unmarked subway lamp on the right, an isolated fire hydrant on the left and the street sign atop the composition, almost like a crown. In the foreground, passersby are stopped in midstep and are subtly fading away, as if expiring. Even with these surreal details, this feels like an intimate corner. Acevedo’s sweeping brushwork creates an impression of time passing around this captured moment, all within a side street.

Acevedo states, “The street also reflects a personal view. In my own journey as an artist, my experience has been as an outsider, and I’ve spent more time on the side street rather than the avenue. It’s on the street, wandering, looking, discovering, sometimes even lost, that I’ve felt most comfortable. I’ve looked to the street for answers to my questions about where I have come from and where I belong. The city street has served as my major source of inspiration for my artwork, whether in drawings, paintings or other works like collage and assemblage.”

For over forty years, Acevedo has used the city as his subject to explore his identity. Born in Gary, Indiana, he has lived and worked in Chicago, Indianapolis, San Francisco and New York. He received his BFA from the Herron Art Institute (Indiana University) in painting and printmaking and an MFA in painting from Hunter College/CUNY. Acevedo has taught painting, drawing and printing at Hunter College, New York University and The New School and Parsons School of Design. His work has been exhibited throughout the New York City area, including the Bronx Museum, Art in General, Clocktower, Brecht Forum, TAI Gallery, Manhattan Community College/BMCC and Williamsburg Art Center (WAH). James lives and works in Manhattan’s Midtown South where you may see him walking most every day, rain or shine.

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 13, 5-7 pm
Artist Talk: Sunday, January 28 at 4:40 pm via Zoom

About 440 Gallery: 440 Gallery presents engaging art to the community through exhibitions, talks, readings and events centered around direct contact with the artist. Open Thursday, Friday 4-7pm, Saturday, Sunday 12-6pm, or by appointment. 440 Gallery is in Park Slope, convenient to the F, M, and R subways.

Contact: For press and sales inquiries, including interviews with our artists, please contact Amanda Brown, Gallery Director, at 718-499-3844; [email protected]. For more information on these shows, the exhibiting artists, and the gallery, go to our website at

Image: James Acevedo