My work is an outward manifestation of my own internal dialogue and reaction to a tumultuous and information overloaded world. Subject matter flows from the political and societal challenges of today and seeks to confront the absurdities of institutionalized and individual dogmas. My choice of subject matter stems from a culturally diverse, urban, working class perspective. Visually, my imagery comes from a sort of muscle memory of engagement within the blue-collar environs of New York City during my coming of age and beyond. This has led to a visual language that utilizes symbolism found within, and representative of this environment. A loaded paint brush, marker, pastel stick, or welder in my hand, automatically seeks to create marks, line, shape and blocks of color tending towards a modernist graffiti, graphic, and neoexpressionist influence. Each of these are ingredients that if taken alone would be truly abstract, but combined form readable imagery that creates a narrative. Though rooted in earlier art historical periods, I feel my work speaks in a contemporary sense to current history and subject matter.
My intention is to present the irrationality of maintaining the social status quo, and to establish that silence is no longer an option and that we all have a role to play in making a more equitable and just world for all of us. If my work can encourage an honest internal dialogue for the viewer, and this in turn promotes a more positive and thoughtful external interaction with society, I would view my work as successful.
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.