Eleanor Curran and Paul Kang at Imagic on Manhattan Ave

With an influx of second wave of blockbuster artists ( M. D. Jackson and the like ) on the heels of first wave young hip artists, it’s easy to forget that there have been local people making work in the neighborhood since well before the first plaid clad types ventured in to a then “scary” area.

Eleanor Curran grew up in Greenpoint “when there was only one Chinese restaurant.” The lively Mrs. Curran grew up on Eckford St before moving to a house on Leonard St that still connected with her Dad’s old house.

“There was always the question of whether I lived in his backyard, or he in mine!”

Of Polish and Lithuanian descent, the artist has of course seen the area go through changes even before the recent fresh influx.

“It was always a Polish neighborhood,” she confirms, “but it has had its up and downs.” “PS126 used to have its’ share of trouble for instance, but it was a good district to grow up in.”


Curran’s paintings are currently showing in the window of Paul Kang’s Imagic on Manhattan Avenue. The site itself is an appropriate showcase for these pieces – a local institution of a frame shop displaying Greenpoint street scenes. Every painting depicts a block or corner of the hood and are all named after the cross streets.

The titles fixate the locations, they could be nowhere else, but the renditions have a timeless Hopper-like almost washed out air. No “Matchless” sign on the corner of “Driggs and Manhattan.” Almost eternal in their stance, these streets have seen businesses come and go.

Usually working with still life, “perspective” is what brought the artist out to take another look at her own roads.

“I just wanted to learn about perspective and this was the best way to do it.” Perspective is the perfect word matching the artist with the art that has the same feel of time elapsing sped up movie clouds.

How does a Greenpoint fixture like Eleanor Curran feel about the accelerated change of the last decade? “I like it!”

Eleanor will be selling her Greenpoint Street Scene artworks at the Holiday Market this Sunday December 8. 

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