Joseph Joy

Central St Martin college of art and design: BA Fine art

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The Art of Joseph Joy

It has been said that I am a classicist painter because my work is predominately concerned with sex, death and politics, themes common to the old masters. This is something which I do not like to admit but may be true.

My work is often difficult to digest. It confronts society with its own notions of what is normal, or sexually decent, and what and who we are. My paintings all about, I feel are strongly influenced by Goya (a fellow country man) and like Goya it can be seen to be darkly comic with references to taboo cultural issues - punishment, sexuality, and tragedy.
I also site the contemporary 'Neurotic Realism School' amongst my influences; members like Martin Maloney with his naïve painting and sexually direct themes have been a source of inspiration.

This confrontation immerses the viewer in a series of obsessive images. Which have titles reminiscent of children's fairy stories. Cinderella, Pinocchio, Hansel and Gretle's gingerbread house. All these fables have their darker sides. My intent is to juxtapose such titles in order to attach a narrative to the images, for example, in the
Image of a man about to be executed the title reads 'The death of Pinocchio', suggesting a series of events that have led the sitter up to the scene that the viewer is witnessing, a point of finality where actions are irreversible. The titles however, represent an idealistic image of childhood, perhaps the object of the paintings was innocent and happier once. In contradiction to the image however the children fable titles suggest a fantasy of a happy ending, directly conflicting with the reality of unhappiness or tension depicted.

In terms of a painting style I have been using the medium of household gloss paints to create bold almost cartoon images with an instant quality. These are deliberately badly painted to spoil their perfection and suggest a childish way of painting
I do not want 'perfection' as we are not living in a perfect world and my paintings depict a rawness of both subject matter and painting technique.

Joseph Joy

Central St Martin college of art and design: BA Fine art

For sales, commissions and to send comments to the artist.


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