Monday, May 30, 2011

Roanoke artist goes gaga for Gaga at new gallery opening (Video)

Poparazzi Gallery-Studio, 36 Kirk Ave, Roanoke.
One of the advantages (and there aren't many) to working in a copy shop is that I often get a heads up about upcoming events around town, as organizers prepare flyers, mailings and posters. Usually it's a concert at the Civic Center, a cultural festival downtown, or a swanky bar mitzvah.

But on Friday, something really interesting happened. One of my coworkers had just finished helping Jerry Hubert and his partner Josh England print some flyers and post cards for the upcoming grand opening of Jerry's new gallery. Before they left, Jerry and Josh came back to the counter and handed me one of the flyers. It turns out they recognized me from my hosting stint at last year's "Rally for GLBT Equality" in Elmwood Park.

We got to talking and I found out that, like most gay men, Hubert has a fascination with pop culture icons. But his absolute obsession is Lady Gaga. In fact he is so in love with Mother Monster that he has named his new gallery,  Poparazzi.

Hubert says he is inspired by Lady Gaga and other icons of popular culture whom he paints in his contemporary take on an old-world style. He looks for images that to him look like paintings from different periods of art history. Then, using the photographs for reference, he creates paintings with the feeling or particular characteristics of specific paintings, artists, or time periods that the photographs convey to him.

Hubert's work in Gaga's dressing room, as seen on Oprah.
Inspired by the Vermeer painting, "Girl With a Pearl Earring", Hubert found a photo of Gaga in a red hood and created his own version of the portrait in the Baroque style. He even got to present it to the pop diva herself at a back stage meet-and-greet after a concert in 2009. Gaga was so excited, she told him, "I want to keep it in my dressing room...I want to hang it in my house...if Perez Hilton doesn't steal it from me."

The painting was later seen backstage in Gaga's Chicago dressing room on the January 15th, 2010 episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and more extensively on (Lady Gaga Shares her Secrets Backstage).

Several of Hubert's Gaga paintings were featured in a Charlottesville gallery this year. Hubert is celebrating the grand opening of Poparazzi Studio-Gallery on Friday night, June 3rd from 5pm - 9pm, with an event called "Art By Night", where he'll launch his new exhibit, called "Spiritual Holograms" featuring his Gaga collection as well as many of his other works. Poparazzi is located at  36 Kirk Ave., in downtown Roanoke. To see some of Jerry's other work and for more information, check out

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  1. Thanks for passing this along Steve. I walked by there Sat. night and looked in, curious about the new place. I'll contact them and add links etc for them. I think this is great, and little Kirk Ave is becoming our future gayborhood...perhaps. Look forward to their June 3rd opening.


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