Artist Spotlight Series: Joshua Avery Webster
Another fabulous artist to share in my Artist Spotlight Series. Joshua’s vibrant modern works are true showstoppers. I saw a few pieces at Voltz Clarke in New York a while back and they are not easily forgotten.
Enjoy getting to know this true talent.
Jersey City, New Jersey
1. What is your training? Please send a favorite picture of yourself
I was formally trained in Architecture and Graphic Design but have drawn, sculpted and painted my entire life. My father is an abstract painter so I was born into the art world and grew up with an incredible mentor.
2. What inspires you and your designs?
I tend to think of my paintings less as designs and more as spirited conversation with color. I find inspiration every day in textures, my surroundings and people. Regardless of the initial inspiration once I actually start painting it becomes primarily about the colors and textures, with each step determining the next. Nothing is preconceived. An artist I really admire once told me that they did not have a favorite color, that they loved every color equally. At the time it seemed absurd, but I have since come to realize that it was actually a true statement. That was probably the single most influential thing anyone has said to me.
3. What is your favorite piece? pictures if possible…
One piece I’m excited about right now is Interlude. It represents a new direction I am exploring. The painting currently hangs in my apartment because it is my girlfriend’s favorite.
4. How has your area or upbringing influenced your work?
When I was little I went to a private school where I was able to use power tools (I still have all of my fingers), mix chemicals (supervised) and learn a little something on occasion. Being given so much freedom and personal responsibility so young really shaped who I am. I would like to think I am still as responsible, but that is probably not true, especially when it comes to the power tools. Growing up immersed in the art world was great. I was able to see private collections and cavort with artists that I have come to appreciate.
5 What is your favorite restaurant?
Park & Sixth, or as I call it, The Zoo, in Jersey City. The food is fantastic, the beer selection is excellent, and the service is like no other. It’s practically a second home.
6. What is your favorite cocktail?
or truly fabulous wine. Or a less-than fabulous one, as long as you’re buying.
7. How do you balance personal life and work?
It’s really just a matter of making time for the people and things I care about and remembering that taking breaks and having fun is important for both my own being and my art.
8. Dream trip?
I have taken some of my dream trips already, particularly travelling around Australia, New Zealand and most recently France. I lived in Australia for a while and my adventures throughout the continent were some of my most exciting and influential experiences. This past summer I spent time in Normandy and Paris. Normandy is fucking awesome. The wine and cheese is amazing and the countryside is beautiful. Cuba, however, continues to elude me.
9. Dream commission?
Every commission is a dream come true. I love to paint and I consider the fact that other people appreciate, encourage and help support my work a wonderful bonus.
10. Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
Somehow I have developed a reputation for selecting good beer, so I am often responsible for supplying this.
11. Who is your style icon?
Grizzly Adams and the guy who pumps gas.
12. Your favorite up and coming artist?
Although they are actually accomplished artist, the two living artists I most admire are Joseph Drapell
and Jerald Webster.
I have followed their work for over 35 years and know it better than I know my own. I never cease to be amazed.
13. What is your most treasured possession?
Emilio, my garden rooster, and Irwin, my inflatable Kangaroo.
14. What are you reading?
I just finished reading Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon. It is a really thought provoking book and was such a pleasure to read. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
15. What are you listening to?
16. What are your favorite blogs / publications?
If I’m not reading the National Enquirer in the checkout line, you might find me with the New Yorker, Economist or design and architecture magazines.