By Jan Lee
Upon walking into The Cupping Room Café in Soho, I was very confused. I was expecting a gallery since I was going to see the debut of a photography exhibit, but what I found was a restaurant. Okay. I wandered around for a minute looking aimlessly, which I am prone to do from time to time.
“Can I help you, Ma’am?”
“Yes, I am looking for the Joseph Hedaya event.”
A tall, dark and handsome man greeted me and proceeded to show me around the “exhibit.” Although the lighting in the café is not the most flattering, the pieces are truly exceptional. The collection of photography entitled New York, NY, a retrospective spanning 20 years (the number of years as a freelance photographer) of Joseph’s work, captures scenes of New York life and non-life, including portraiture, architecture, still life, city and landscapes.
You see through the lens of this self-taught, native New Yorker’s camera as you walk throughout the cafe. “His take on his city” is manifested through a variety of techniques (metallic paper, negatives and Tungsten lighting) throughout the three dozen works. Appropriate for the home, office and restaurant décor and other media, such as advertising, these pieces would be astute and affordable investments. The pieces run from $350 to $800.
Similar to the episode of Girlfriends when Lynn becomes enamored with a painting of a circle within a red triangle, I wanted to stare at “Fortysecond Street Snow NYC” forever. And I did, until I noticed I might have been a little bit too close to the two people who were trying to eat right next to the piece. At least they were nice about it and they definitely understood.
“Sometimes a piece can just grab you and you have to have it, right?” one of them said.
I was also very taken with the Monet-esque “Rain Photos” taken through a rain-laden car window. I felt like a kid again and had the sudden inkling to throw on some goulashes and stomp in a big puddle or two.
The Cupping Room will host New York, NY for the next couple of months, but that doesn’t mean you can wait. Be sure to look high and low, because they are tucked everywhere and you don’t want to miss any. Visit www.josephhedaya.com for a sampling of the collection and for additional information on the artist.
The Cupping Room Café
359 West Broadway (at Broome Street)