In the windows of the world where they work

Super realist painter snaps photos of Gourmet Garage crew

BY SCOTT STIFFLER  |  Woodward Gallery’s presentation of “Curt Hoppe: The Sum of Our Parts” does double duty by championing the work of a worthy artist while calling attention to the unique spirit of a beloved neighborhood institution.

For over a decade, Gourmet Garage SoHo has been a Woodward Gallery project space. Rotating exhibits, about six of them each year, typically feature subject matter like food and flowers.

While planning this summer’s exhibit, explains Kristine Woodward, “We wanted to address what makes the SoHo location of Gourmet Garage so special. The employees are remarkable. People know the butcher, the manager, the checkout counter girls by name.”  So Woodward Gallery challenged “super realist painter” Curt Hoppe (known for his uncanny life-like painting portraits) to capture the essence of the much-loved staff by photographing them over a period of nine sessions not lasting more than 15 minutes each.

The resulting photographic portraits (available for purchase) are now hanging in the windows of Gourmet Garage through September — making regulars swoon over the overdue star treatment given to the employees (and, one supposes, creating some “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” moments from first-time customers).

At Gourmet Garage SoHo
453 Broome Street, at Mercer (ground floor windows)
24 hours/day, through September
For more info, visit woodwardgallery.net, curthoppe.com and gourmetgarage.com

Photos copyright 2011, Curt Hoppe; courtesy of Woodward Gallery