Joseph Camp

Born in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee in 1980, Joseph Camp spent much of his childhood playing sports, building bike ramps and keeping up with his two older brothers. This keeping up, led to an independent spirit and the ability to create innovative solutions. Camp gets much of his natural work ethic from his father, a retired railroad engineer. His mother provided much of his creative influence. Throughout his life, he had mentors that helped refine these skills. He uses his work as a means of sharing personal experiences of life. His memories of travels to Italy form a basis for his inventive approach to painting. My paintings are built with intuitive vision based on memories. Perception is highly conversant with cultural experience, world history, books, film and social encounters. Many artists of the past, from the Renaissance period to Abstract and Expressionist painters, work from a base of knowledge and experience to build ideas and create visual objects. Wassily Kandinsky said he “values only those artists, who consciously or unconsciously, in an entirely original form, embody the expression of their inner life; who work only for this end and cannot work otherwise.” I see value in sharing my experience. It is a means of expression and a tool for contributing something personally valuable directly from myself to my community. My work is comprised of spirited strokes and self-actuated symbols embedded within geometric shapes of color. Balancing simplicity and complexity, or the intentional lack of either, becomes an issue that I address with intention and sincerity. I combine awareness with this spontaneous and passionate impulse to elicit important recollections of color, line or composition. Often, the areas of color become the dominant focus of a piece. This reductive trait helps me communicate sensory information. I have moments of doubt, crescendos of confidence and flashes of absolute freedom. Painting allows me to re-live valuable memories and communicate individually with viewers. The essence of visual language feeds me and the shared experience remains in the hearts and minds of the viewers. Viewers predispose themselves to the visual dialogue by translating information provided by an artist. This form of communication is the reason that hard work and dedication to painting is important to me. A painting holds the power to invite secular change through the act of the viewer’s gaze upon the art. However, the fallibility of the human condition is to inevitably discern what is personally right through the interpretation of weakness or strength in the work. The saving grace is the power of human reasoning. With a small amount of effort, judgment can be replaced with numerous dispensations. One brushstroke is a critical form that affects the dynamics in a painting. It is wonderful to think that such a dedicated gesture can alter a viewer’s mentality. Color is another dedicated form that sustains the mind. The panes of color in my paintings form gateways into liminal space between the artist’s experience and viewer’s perception.

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