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J. Joel

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Biography

A Little About The Artist
Once asked "And what do you do for a living?" Joel replied "It rather depends what day I am asked: artist, an illustrator and a teacher".
The teaching positions have always been part-time, Ryerson University, Sheridan College and, most recently, the Ontario College of Art and Design. He must have done something right because his Ryerson students choreographed a dance and sang a song for him, Sheridan awarded him a gold-plated merit pin and at OCAD he was welcomed like an old friend.
Joel set out in his professional life to become a book and magazine illustrator with the intention of matching and combining his devotion to fine art so that the two disciplines became one and the same but being skilful at the art of perspective he became sought after as an architectural renderer, a specialized profession that has offered the opportunity to visualize projects in almost every corner of the world.
Throughout the demands made upon his creative talents and resources Joel makes time to devote his energies into producing fine art. A series of drawings, paintings, collage and mixed media, and limited edition prints that have included partial or headless figures (far less macabre than it sounds), trucks and jazz bands. He has also completed a mural for the concourse level at First Canadian Place and several others for developers and private clients.
The Shaw-Rimmington Gallery, Birch Ave., Toronto, the Le Cadre Gallery, King Street West, Toronto and Gallery Brand, Oakville; Joel would happily have stayed with any one of these fine galleries but in turn the owners retired. Feeling frustrated he decided to go it alone, organizing his own exhibitions and participating in group shows at fellow artists' studios and in a variety of interesting and on occasion unusual venues such as Creeds, the Alliance Fran?aise, Innis College at the University of Toronto, the hallowed halls of the Ontario Association of Architects and the Arts and Letters Club.
For those who are familiar with CBC's current affairs program "As It Happens," Joel was actually born in Reading, that's about 74 kilometers west of London. A graduate of a south London Polytechnic with continued education at the London School of Printing and the Leicester School of Art. Immigrated to Canada in 1965.

Why I am an Artist
I am borrowing some of the eloquent words from a George Orwell essay in which he explains "Why I write" to express why I am an artist. Aesthetic enthusiasm, sheer egoism, a desire to seem clever, to be talked about and a desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not be missed.
In an effort to be original I have recently produced works that include both two- and three-dimensional components consisting of a painting and a construction that matches, accompanies or echoes its companion, sometimes known as a pendant. I refer to these new works as echo or companion pieces.
My inspiration is as varied as the immediate world that I'm exposed to and I strive to see and communicate through fresh eyes and a different perspective.

Why I Write About My Work
Much in the way of modern art is a mystery so if a work does have a meaning or a story behind it knowing what we are looking at makes all the difference in the world to our enjoyment. This does not, however, preclude the viewer's own interpretation of the art.
Among other things it is a desire to share some of the problem-solving developments that creative people go through. To take some of the mystery out and to unravel some of the esoteric elements that go into making a work of art.
An idea can evolve and develop over years before becoming a visual image, other ideas come to one in the blink of an eye without rhyme or reason and some of the end-results are as easy as flicking your fingers while other works can take so much energy that one is left physically and mentally exhausted.

Notes from a Collector
I have been fortunate to follow Joel's journey as an artist for the past sixteen years.
From the outset, I have been impressed with his highly disciplined skill as a painter, sculptor, and illustrator. A master of design and colour, Joel's sensibility combines a stringent, draughtsmanlike control with an innate compositional strength and vibrant, living colour. As an observer and collector of his work, I can attest that it continues to engage and give me pleasure year after year.
Joel's new series, Echo Pieces, began in 1993 as an exploration of the dialogue between sculpture and painting. At times playful, at times abstract, these pieces are the product of intuition, happy accident and a rigorous method. Through surprising conjunctions of colour, shape and object, these works rehabilitate and enrich the familiar and commonplace into a lyric, metaphysical transformation.
On a personal note, I have been touched by Joel's erudition, humility and candour. His commitment to his own growth and renewal as an artist has been an inspiration to those around him; he has never been content to repeat past successes and has continually sought to challenge both himself and his clients.
This, as much as his art, is his gift to us.
Kris Bassi O.A.A., M.R.A.I.C.
Architect

Other Information

Category: Mixed Media

Media:Mixed Media

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