Joshua Horkey: More Than Just Wall Decor

I had first seen Joshua's work at Krause Gallery and wondered more about the artist's background. I found the work familiar- with its 'Pop Art" references- yet I guessed the artist incorrectly right in front of the gallery owner, Ben Krause. I admire Ben a lot and find his eye for both emerging and established artists to be extraordinary, so I asked more questions which led me to speaking with artist Joshua Horkey himself.

Joshua, your subject matter often depicts imagery from the Pop Art genre. How did that come about and is that the genre of art you yourself most relate to?

There is a certain note from our Pop Art predecessors that I relate to. Mainly, the use of references from popular culture like mass media imagery and its messages. Also, experimenting with mediums and techniques. Most importantly their use of irony and (hopefully) wit.

However, quite a few of the theoretical concerns that pop artists of the 50's-60's dealt with are simply ubiquitous today. So much so, they seem to me almost like an unheeded warning. For example, the comments regarding consumerism and the glorification of celebrity.

At this point in my art career, the comments I’m looking to make art based on our own inundation of media, the often thoughtless consumerism, and the tolls they take on us. For me, it’s important to establish an emotional connection between the viewers and my work. Something that causes a personal reaction. Not art that’s simply wall decor.

You use many different mediums in your work. Can you briefly describe what mediums you gravitate to and why?

I primarily work in collage and acrylic. Though, I often use found objects for assemblage or to paint on. With an education in graphic design I find that using collage from different media sources speaks to the overabundance of those media which surround us. Additionally it adds some authenticity to the historical warning we have received and also current issues from today. Painting on found objects adds a certain amount of inherent texture and history to the work. The items are chosen because they add to the story that I’m trying to tell.

Are there any mediums that intimate you? If so- what are they and what about them do you find intimidating?

I don’t think so. The variety of processes and mediums I currently work with is a pretty good example of how much I love to experiment. I wouldn’t ever look at making art as intimidating. It’s always a learning experience.

Some ideas end up being more difficult than others, but everything ends up informing your work... Successes, failures, everything!

Do you have a mentor or artist that inspires you when creating your work?

On the theory and critical tip... Hal Foster, Dave Hickey, Jerry Saltz. I’ve been fortunate to have consistent open dialogue with Rick Reese who I would call a mentor. Artists that I find inspiration in today... Barbara Kruger, Icy & Sot, Winston Smith, Harold Hollingsworth, Gerhard Richter, Paul Rentler and Jorge Luis Santos

If you could collaborate with any artist, alive or deceased, who would it be with and why?

Mark Bradford; for so many reasons. From his process, to his social commentary, to his involvement in his community. Sheela Gowda; for her use of common, everyday materials. Her approach to her culture, environment and the contrasts found there. Also, when I think of collaboration, it’s about learning from the partnership. I am inspired by creatives from so many different places. Working with new materials, new atmospheres, new perspectives. For example, the approach some chefs bring to their work is so thoughtful and inspiring. It would be quite an adventure to work with a like minded chef, blend each of our ideas, and see what becomes of it. Sean Brock is top of the list.

What is next for you?

2019 is already beginning to ramp up. It’s really exciting to have a number of commissions in the books already.

The galleries that have supported me so far continue to keep me involved in their curatorial efforts. • Krause Gallery (NYC), Parlor Gallery (Asbury Park, NJ), Big Arts (Sanibel Island, FL), and Emilia Cohen Gallery (Mexico City) • I will have launched a web-store by the time this is published, and there will be small edition hand embellished prints available as well.

Where can our readers find more about both you and your artwork?

Well, this is the first chance the public will be able to read my ramblings... and now would be a opportune time to thank you for the opportunity... and thank your readers for making it this far into the interview! For more visual stuff please look at my Instagram: @joshuahorkeyart Or Website: www.JoshuaHorkeyArt.com

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