Artist Statement and Bio
My name is Joseph Renda Jr, I am a Chicago based artist and a graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the American Academy of Art. I am represented by Vertical Gallery, won awards with the Prime 8 Art League, and have had my work published in magazines such as New York’s Creative Bloch.
I am interested in dualities which touch on the subjects of nature / mankind, life / death, and chaos / order. I tackle these abstract ideas, bringing them into our reality though the use of representational imagery, thus exploring existence and reality.
I am inspired by baroque painters and surrealism, as well as being immersed within the urban contemporary community; with my work, I strive to represent aspects of each. I utilize compositional elements and techniques ranging from classicism, the psychological investigation of surrealism, and the culture and aesthetics of urban art. The exploration of material and unique mark making is evident throughout the work. I investigate the hierarchy of material by utilizing spray-pain with historically traditional oil painting mediums and techniques. I experiment with levels of control through the use of uncontrollable chemical reactions, to highly refined realism and trompe l’oeil. My process becomes a push and pull of paint and sensibility. The functional three-dimensional aspects included in the paintings play with spatial dimensions. Cut outs and functional windows and doors invite the viewer to engage with the work on a physical level and contemplate something beyond the picture plane.
When figures are included their gaze is directed up or off into the distance, creating the idea that beyond their environment lays the exploration of something greater than themselves. Manipulating this space, along with lighting and color, drama is created which investigates elements of spirituality and mysticism. The animals are a metaphor for humanity as they either interact with the figures or become the representation of the figures themselves.
Nature is a considerable influence on my creative process, coming from a large city I have always felt serenity within nature. To quote Albert Einstein “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Once Immersed, there is a feeling of smallness compared to the wide world around me, which evokes the natural curiosity we have to the reasoning behind existence. This examination leads to the exploration of nature and humanity, or the tensions of being.
My work is a life time exploration and I strive to gain a better understanding of the world around me and myself.