Drink to that! Ridge artist is drawn to bars

The Brooklyn Paper
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Many artists find inspiration in the bottle — but Joe Milazzo did it literally.

In his new series, simply titled “Bar,” the Bay Ridge painter presents works inspired by his own pub crawls, but with an old-school aesthetic.

“The style I have developed includes a lot of muted colors and earth tones,” said Milazzo, who’s known for his graphic design work among the Bay Ridge music scene. “The bars I go to are more old-world looking, and that seemed to really work with that color scheme. It was almost like a perfect fit for me.”

The resulting pieces — meticulously developed from photographs Milazzo took of bartenders and patrons — feature warm, inviting scenes of McSorley’s Old Ale House in Manhattan, Lucky 13 Saloon in Park Slope, and, his greatest muse, the Three Jolly Pigeons in Bay Ridge.

“That’s my watering hole,” said Milazzo of the bar, which presents his series with a show on Dec. 11. “I just love the woodwork in that place. It has a nice old-school vibe.”

Highlights of Milazzo’s works include a scene of a wistful bartender tending to an empty bar at the Three Jolly Pigeons, a proud, handlebar-sporting patron nursing a beer, and a simple shot of a larger-than-life glass of Jack Daniels — the artist’s drink of choice.

In total, Milazzo crafted 11 pieces in his bar series before deciding it was tapped.

“I’m a big Spinal Tap fan, so I thought stopping at 11 was good,” said Milazzo.

We’ll drink to that.

“Bar: Paintings by Joe Milazzo” at the Three Jolly Pigeons [6802 Third Ave. at 68th Street in Bay Ridge, (718) 745-9350], Dec. 11 from 2 pm-late. For info, visit

— Meredith Deliso

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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