If you wanted to know where Joseph Ross’ ‘head is at’, then just take a look at his current collection of artworks at Motion Gallery. Joseph has a collection of larger layered poured acrylic paintings he is truly proud of, and the smaller paintings are the latest part of the collection. The best description of theses smaller pieces is his comparison from Polaroid’s to 35 mm film.
Joseph attempts to capture moments when he paints. Telling us that each painting is the story of a four to six week period of his life, and each layer can work with, or against the previous layer. “Just like each day can be a compliment or detraction from the day before. Each colour can add or detract from the painting. Just like different people in your life, or in a room, or in a moment can add or detract from your experience. Some colours blend in, some methods and mediums are balancers, some are intruders, some are collaborators and integrators.” He goes onto describing the results of his paintings just as in life.
Another interesting component in his painting process is music, and his artwork will change depending on the type of music he is listening to, like a graphic equalizers ability to give a visual representation of music.
When he started painting he was initially drawn to shapes as well as abstract landscapes. Having experimented with many types of mediums, he now combines all his methods in layers of styles and mediums.
“Each style is a part of the paintings personality, and by extension, tells a story. Every painting has a meaning…decoding the name is the first step towards understanding what the painting means to me as the artist, but I would prefer that people be drawn to the painting, before they unravel my meaning.”
Rene Magritte is an artist Joseph will travel the world to see, and has searched out his works in London, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Belgium, Paris, Amsterdam, and other cities. Her images draw him in and capture his imagination, and he says her talent and skill inspire him.
Joseph Ross grew up in a small family of women, with his grandmother, mother, and sister. “I knew in some ways I was “the man” of the house, but I believe that my worldview is different; my perspective is different because it was shaped by the women that raised me.” Joseph admits he gravitates towards introverted pursuits but at some point became an extrovert. “Perhaps extroversion is simply a survival technique” he adds.
Having studied music and literature, painting is another method of self-discovery and a decision to explore.
Rene Magritte once said “everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present.” These words made sense to Joseph and that drove me to paint abstract image based on colour, movement, and flow.
Having exhibited his artworks in coffee shops and libraries, it was only when he started showing at Motion five years ago that he made the decision to move his artwork forward. To that point he was not really out in the world and had sold a few pieces privately. “Motion has provided a larger audience for my work.”
His artworks can be found at Motion Gallery, or viewed at his home studio.
Joseph is about to finish a master’s degree which has taken up two years of his life. He admits that being a full time artist would be great, and selling art is extremely satisfying, but this is not his ultimate goal, as an artist he hopes people are drawn to his images by a reaction or conclusion based on the feeling they get from his art and enjoy looking at his images for years to come.
Written by Sandra Montgomery
Edited by Renee Laferriere