Colorful packaging and labels can attract craft beer lovers to try new beers. Afterwards, beer cans are often discarded or recycled. Long Island mixed media artist Joseph Amalfitano, reuses and repurposes beer can labels by incorporating them into his art. Amalfitano gave LIB Magazine the inside scoop of his creative process and where you can see his art.
LIB: What inspired you to use can labels for your art?
Amalfitano: Well, it all started with my collection of unique beer cans and labels. I’ve been gathering them for years and displaying them in my home bar. Last summer, I finally got the itch to do something creative with them. I started with a simple elephant on canvas, and then a boombox that surprisingly landed me second place at the Sixpoint Art show. It’s been a journey of discovering what’s possible with these labels.
LIB: How do you create your artwork?
Amalfitano: I start by sketching out my ideas, then lay down a background on the canvas using acrylic paint. Once that’s set, I carefully cut out the beer cans and labels, piecing them together like a puzzle. I glue the whole image onto the canvas and give it a good seal. And yes, it can get a bit tricky trying not to accidentally hurt myself in the process!
LIB: What’s your favorite beers/breweries that you’ve worked with?
Amalfitano: I’ve been lucky to have my work showcased at a few places, but I’ve got to say, Lithology Brewing Co. and others have been incredibly supportive. I’ve had the chance to display my art at Barrier Brewing, Lithology, and Motion, and I’m truly grateful for the opportunities.
Amalfitano: Sometimes, yes. Having a drink on hand can help me relax and think outside the box. But it’s not a constant thing, just depends on the vibe of the moment.
LIB: What’s your favorite piece that you’ve created?
Amalfitano: It’s tough to pick a favorite since I tend to be pretty critical of my work. If I had to choose, I’d say that the first elephant painting holds a special place. It’s what kick started this whole journey for me.
LIB: What’s next for Canvrse Art?
Amalfitano: I’m genuinely hoping for meaningful growth. The joy of creating and sharing my work keeps me going. If my art can bring happiness to people and foster a sense of connection, whether they recognize their favorite beer brands or appreciate the recycled materials, that’s what it’s all about. Blending my love for art and beer, and seeing where it takes me.
September 23rd, 2023, Joseph Amalfitano will be the featured artist at Lithology Brewery in Farmingdale at Dale-Toberfest. Be sure to show him some local love and check out his artwork while enjoying delicious craft beer.