Joseph Lee is an artist who has spent years studying faces and the emotion that inhabits them. The beauty in Lee’s work stems from the manipulation of common everyday forms, such as faces or objects, into an array of energetic and forceful expressions. Each segmented brush stroke and application of color converge into a balanced whole.
His work focuses on the parallel between external reality and internal process. Each painting expresses a sense of physical harmony by layering of palette and brush strokes to create a complete and powerful gestural composition. This emphasis on the physicality of paint and stroke, color and volume, creates a unique tension within Lee’s dynamic paintings. The surface presence and confidence in each painterly stroke creates a uniquely uncompromising seductive experience for the viewer through the use of paint. In the age of swiping through social media images, these portraits force viewers to stop, inspect the physical craftsmanship and raw nature of these paintings.
Today, Lee continues creating work to examine the psychology of beings behind their “societal masks”. His portraits channel various observations ranging from pop culture references to the daily people he encounters on the street. In addition to gallery exhibitions, Lee has been commissioned by brands such as NIKE & Floyd Mayweather’s TMT for various projects. He has exhibited and sold to major art dealers and collectors in fairs such as Art Market Hamptons, LA Art Show, and SCOPE Miami Beach and SCOPE
With my subjects, whether it’s a person that I meet on the street or a celebrity, I paint them because I want to find the humanity in that person, not because of their position.Joe