Neighbor and digital artist Virginia Palyka moved Bensonhurst three years ago and found a surprising muse in the neighborhood — from its distinctive architectural lines, to its elevated train tracks, to the long-neglected Bensonhurst Park. She agreed to share some of her Bensonhurst-inspired prints and tell us about how she came to fall in love with the neighborhood. To see more of Palyke’s work or to order prints, visit her Facebook page.
How did you wind up living in Bensonhurst?
I moved here from Salt Lake City, Utah in 2012 for love. I couldn’t ask for a better neighborhood.
What are some of your favorite things about the neighborhood?
I don’t know where to start! The food, the history, the culture, the parks, the diversity. This is the best part of the city by far.
What first made you consider recreating Bensonhurst in your art, and why did you decide digital was the way to go?
There’s no shortage of classic New York City landmark paintings. I want to depict the beautiful, secret places that you’d only recognize if you lived in the area. Digital paintings are great because they don’t take up any space in your home!
Prints can be made-to-order. I did a large painting of Bensonhurst Park, but it is difficult to photograph and more difficult to transport.
I see via your website that you make a lot of other art as well, covering different subjects and using different mediums. Can you talk a bit about that?
I’ve made art all my life. I like combining the real and the surreal, perfect math and imperfect biology. I use many different mediums but always return to the vivid colors of ink and acrylic paint.
What do you do when you’re not making art?
I manage a Neuro-Ophthalmology research company. For fun, my boyfriend and I go for long walks through the different neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
What’s the best way for people to keep up with what you’re working on?
For new art pieces, commissions, and show info, they can follow me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/vpalyka
I love reading the Bensonhurst Bean. I’ve read it religiously since moving here.