Interview with Joe Sorren: exploring his new solo “Between the Wrinkles” at Dorothy Circus Gallery

Having painted for over 30 years, it’s no surprise that Joe Sorren has become a prominent figure in the New Surrealism movement. He effortlessly blends gentle swathes of luminous paint to forge heartfelt narratives under a blanket of impressionism and surrealism, topped with his pop art flair. These bright and energetic paintings connect with memories lying deep in the subconscious as much as they bring something fresh and new, tiptoeing playfully on the line between nostalgia and something uniquely contemporary.

After a decade in Europe being influenced by the great masters, Joe Sorren celebrates in latest his solo show “Between the Wrinkles”, which opens this Saturday 9 March at Dorothy Circus Gallery London. Here, Joe traverses the “rooms of memory” across this brand-new collection. Soft brushstrokes frame tender-looking eyes. An array of everyday moments, told through fantastical creatures and humans alike, reflect relatable experiences elevated through Joe’s rich tapestry of colour.

We interviewed Joe Sorren to learn more about his life as a painter and his latest solo exhibition at Dorothy Circus Gallery London. “Between the Wrinkles” opens this Saturday, 9 March with a cocktail reception exclusively for Collectors and guests of the Gallery. The show will then be open to the public from Tuesday 12 March.

As with all art, it is best seen in the flesh – schedule a viewing through the gallery to avoid disappointment!

Joe Sorren: “Between the Wrinkles”

Dorothy Circus Gallery London

35 Connaught Street | London | W2 2AZ | UK

Phone: +44 (0) 755 192 9124

Exhibition Dates: 9 Mar – 6 Apr 2024

For more information, email Dorothy Circus Gallery at info@dorothycircusgallery.uk

Interview with Joe Sorren

You have been described to me as the “contemporary master of emotion lighting”, and I agree that your use of lighting and colour delivers alluring focal points. You’ve been painting since 1989. Have you always painted in a similar style, or are you one of those artists who went through many different evolutions until you settled into your voice as a painter?

It feels like I found a thread on the ground, and I’ve been slowly unearthing it and seeing where it takes me. 

What makes you happiest about painting?

When I am feeling down, painting picks me up. When I am feeling up, painting celebrates with me. Basically, when I am painting, I feel ‘on purpose’… does that make sense?

Piano Lesson (2023), Oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm

It does, for sure. Now, you have travelled between Florence and Barcelona over the past ten years experiencing, and being influenced by, many of the great masters. These two cities have a very different vibe to Chicago and New York! Have you come back with a new sense of purpose as a creator?

Absolutely. It feels like my eyes got scrubbed clean, not sure how else to describe it.

Who would you say are your favourite artists to use colour and light, and what is it about them that you connect with so much?

My love affair remains with the impressionists. It’s kind of unbelievable what they pulled off. 

As a painter, do you tend to create from your subconscious and see where a painting takes you, or do you focus on developing a concept first? What are the pros and cons of your natural (or chosen!) workflow?

I always see where it takes me. My focus when I paint is to sell cleverness and purchase bewilderment. 

That Ol’ Chestnut, Oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm
Heroes and Villains (2015), Oil on canvas

Focusing on “Between the Wrinkles”

How does it feel to be exhibiting for the first time at Dorothy Circus London?

Grateful. I’m over the moon. 3 kilometers over the moon.

“Between the Wrinkles” is a rather endearing name for a solo exhibition. What came first: the exhibition title, or the development of the collection?  

The development of the collection. The pieces define the voice. 

The beautiful way in which you present rather surreal characters in relatable situations stirs a deep-set nostalgia. It’s feels like an echo of children’s stories which aim to teach them about growing up in relatable and gentle ways – looking at these stories again through adult eyes can allow a new appreciation for the narratives occurring, and that can sometimes be entertaining, sometimes melancholic. Are these paintings formed from your own direct memories and experiences?

To an extent. There is a point where reality divides, and for me, that’s where the magic lies. I aim to create a space that asks living questions more than it provides answers. 

Are there any pieces within this show that hold a particularly deep connection with you?

Some pieces find themselves before I even know what I’m painting. “Morning Has Broken” is one of those pieces.  

Morning has broken, 76 x 100 cm, Oil on canvas.

How long have you been working on pieces for “Between the Wrinkles”, and how does it feel to see the collection complete?

It was a process of 18 months. On Saturday, I finally get to see the pieces all gathered together. 

No doubt “Between the Wrinkles” is going to be a momentous event this Saturday! To finish off, is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?

Finishing the painting is only half of the process. It’s the viewer who completes the circle.

Joe Sorren
A Scare-Up at the Sun Within, Oil on canvas, 156 x 170 cm
Smoke Break (2024), Oil on Canvas, 76.2 x 60.96 cm

About Dorothy Circus Gallery

Dorothy Circus Gallery was founded by Alexandra Mazzanti and her mother Maddalena Di Giacomo, who played a pivotal role in the conception and branding of the gallery. With its Rome and London branches, the spaces are dedicated to the figurative avant-gardes in contemporary art.  The gallery brings together international established and up and coming artists selected for their compelling visual languages from the worlds of Painting, Sculpture, Street Art and Photography, and their intriguing correlation to Pop iconography, New Surrealism and Magic Realism.

Curating thought-provoking exhibitions, educational initiatives and engaging events, the owner Alexandra Mazzanti is constantly expanding the gallery presence and influence on the global art scene. The Gallery works closely with artists and organizations to create meaningful dialogues, contributing to the development of a society based on an ethical commitment.

Tapping in the subconscious and challenging the everyday, Dorothy Circus Gallery focuses on bringing back the surreal elements of art, an Art that in the words of André Breton could “incite passers-by to dream in the shadow of reality.”

All images shown are courtesy of Dorothy Circus Gallery and the Artist.

Joe Sorren Social Media Accounts

Website | Instagram

Dorothy Circus Social Media Accounts

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

About Author

Based in the UK, Natalia Joruk enjoys a life surrounded by art, nature, and curious trinkets. As Deputy Editor, she's worked closely with the Editor-in-Chief for over a decade, supporting with the design and growth of Beautiful Bizarre and the maintenance of the annual Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize. Natalia also oversees sponsor partnerships for the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, and distribution of the magazine, so drop her an email if you know someone who would like to sponsor or stock! She also writes for both the Beautiful Bizarre Magazine website and print publication. One of her favourite perks is getting to know artists, gallery owners and their teams personally, so feel free to email her if there is anything she can help you with – or just to connect.


This site is protected by reCaptcha and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Beautiful Bizarre will never supply your information to anyone else without your explicit permission - see our PRIVACY POLICY.

Join the Beautiful Bizarre email list


This site is protected by reCaptcha and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Beautiful Bizarre Magazine takes your privacy seriously, we will
never share your information without your express permission.