Valley Stream firefighter gets creative


When he’s not fighting fires, working at the village’s Highway Department, or volunteering around town, James “Boz” Borzumato, 34, spends his time creating his own take on Pop Art.

He gestured to several of his art pieces on display at Sip This on Rockaway Avenue last month while describing his process.

“It’s a lot of early days and late nights,” he said with a laugh. Borzumato slid his sunglasses on top of his head of long hair. The tip of his ponytail is dyed a bright blue — a nod to his belief that we’re “living in the future.”

Borzumato is almost finished with his degree in Commercial Art and Digital Enterprise, from Nassau Community College. He said he’s always been creative, but needed help honing his technological skills.

One of the more striking components of his display, titled, “Play Dead,” is a group of seven giant toy guns he drew by hand using Adobe software, and then printed on canvas. The guns are incredibly detailed, and are brightly-colored.

“I learned in school the more details you put on something the more realistic it looks,” he said

The guns, which took him a combined 40 hours to create, portray weapons as toys, and illustrate his belief that most people in modern society are “playing dead,” just to get through their days.

Borzumato often mixes photography with graphic design, but he said there’s always a message in his work. His drone photography showcases Valley Stream in a rarely-seen way, and the bird’s eye view photos are designed to illustrate lack of privacy in the modern world.

Additionally, to make the exhibit more interactive, Borzumato added black light ink, that requires a special flashlight to see. He said he likes incorporating hidden as well as overt messages in his work. Patrons of Sip This sporadically use the flashlights to interact with the art hanging on the walls.

The coffee shop rotates local artists’ work each month, and Borzumato’s display will remain up until the end of the month, and he said he’s already sold a few pieces.

“I approached them and told them I had an idea, they gave me a date, and I’ve just been working on it ever since just trying to get it all done,” he said.

Borzumato has spent the majority of his life in Valley Stream, and graduated from Central High School. He lives in the village with his wife, Jennifer, and his two children, and plans to buy a house somewhere in South Valley Stream.

“There’s a lot of organizations I’m a part of in this town, and I love it,” he said. “Valley Stream’s a great place to live … Especially Sip This. What they’re doing here, it’s like such a community area. Growing up I didn’t have any place like this in Valley Stream.”