My work explores the human concept of identity through mixed media figurative representation and emotional tension. Informed by the anonymous falling figures from the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, and the desperation that forced a final decision to step into the void, I began to explore ideas of identity and anonymity. Hinting at the gritty and graffiti covered streets and spaces of my youth, my work chronicles the constant reinterpretation of self throughout my life’s journey. The falling silhouettes, entangled forms, and the use of primary color, mark making, and line work indicate the numerous facets that through experiences accumulate over time and form an individual’s unique identity.
My work also considers the human identity as a whole through the lens of global climate change and environmental destruction. Have we so lost our identity as a part of nature that we can no longer maintain and exist within a balanced and healthy ecosystem? I explore this question through the visual interpretation of the impacts we have on our environment and the struggles we impose on ourselves.
Not only presented in two dimensions, there are also three dimensional elements of stone, metal, clay, and wax. Small three dimensional figures are placed, struggling in degraded environments, and photographed in high contrast black and white. Consumed and beaten by their own constructed reality they have become, not unlike us, victims of their own success. Abstract figures are used to convey the human emotions and helplessness common to us all when facing turning points in our trajectory through life. The figures twisting and contorting, indicates the inner struggle we all experience with our own unique and always changing identity.
Originally from New York City, Joe now works and lives along the South Carolina coast. He also holds a BA in studio art from Coastal Carolina University.