Bo Joseph


Bo Joseph Biography

"My work involves the appropriation and mingling of iconic forms from disparate cultures and historic periods, often as layered silhouettes in a fragmented abstract field. It also involves an intuitive, process-oriented methodology where chance and deconstructive techniques partly determine the final outcome of the work. From myriad printed sources, such as books or auction catalogs, I scavenge images of objects that transcend cultural boundaries without losing their intrinsic charge. I transcribe and layer silhouettes or outlines of these reproductions, abstracting them to further strip away any inherent meaning or point of reference, withdrawing any cultural context. Typically, these referential hybrids evolve within environments of intuitive gestural marking. Whether painting on a fragmentary used drop cloth or a sheet of paper, I regard the painting support as a charged found object, more than just a surface. I incorporate deconstructive, chancy techniques like sanding, masking and rinsing to invoke the anomalous and transient nature of material meaning and to instigate new roles for these archetypal sources. I utilize abstraction as a means of examining how our beliefs and perception charge the experience of reality, and affect how we compile collective knowledge. The resulting works are by-products of my exploration and reconciliation of diverse cultures and they assert signs of ideological syncretism and contemporary interdependence."

Bo Joseph (b.1969, Berkeley, CA) has exhibited internationally and has been honored as the recipient of the Basil H. Alkazzi Award and fellowships in painting from Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. He has been a visiting artist/lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, where he has also taught drawing. His work is held in international public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; The Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH; and the Guilin Art Museum, Guilin, China. His work has been reproduced in Art in America and The New York Times, and has been the subject of two National Public Radio segments. Joseph received a B.F.A. in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives and works in New York City.