Joshua Petker is a southern California artist who pulls no punches when it comes to cutting the shit right down to the bone. He spends his time suffering over canvas, diving out in his Hollywood living room, die-harding for the Dodgers, and all around keeping his feet planted flat on the ground. He has a style that you might night not want to take home to mom, but would defiantly want to take home from a seedy LA bar. Seductive, scandalous, and downright hot in the worst way. His paintings are like that girl that you know will destroy you but somehow you just can't resist. -Manuel Bello
I was born in Van Nuys, CA in 1979. I currently live in Silverlake, which is a neighborhood east of Hollywood in LA. I've lived here for about 6 years now.
Hollywood is primarily a flat bit of land right beneath the Hollywood Hills and the mansion homes that tower there. The area is a mix of apartments, 1920s bungalows, and houses that have castle towers attached to even the most modest 1 levels. Palm trees line famous streets and there is no end to motivated people pursuing huge dreams or spending all of their time pretending to be one. It's dreamy here. That's not to say dreams come true here. Because they usually don't! Hollywood to me at least, feels like this great big quiet soul. It smells more like failure than success but there is no better place to feel close to the edge yet quiet and alone at the same time. Deep huh?
I almost only use acrylic paint. At times I've used ink, paint pens, glitter or nail polish but 97% of the paintings are acrylic.
I like juxtapositions. Putting blue on top of red is fun for me. Life and the world can be pretty dark but I believe, all in all, in good, even when it's bad. I see the bright neon colors like too much sugar. Like the way too much happy, makes you sick to your stomach. Not sure why I'm attracted to that. Life is brutal yet so awesome and great! I think I'm trying to paint what I cannot to say.
It always starts from photo reference but the face is just the framework for whatever comes. I don't invent the figures initially but sometimes regardless of the photo reference I often change the entire face of the model just because it happens while painting. I've never drawn a painting before painting it. I do draw but mostly with the paint.
It's very different. I only even mention graffiti when talking about my art because I'd feel like a liar if I said I just started drawing only 5-6 years ago, which is pretty much when I started painting and drawing girls. I had been doing graffiti for years before and so was always creating one thing or another. For me graffiti was more about my friends and doing what we did rather than it being about art. But, it was graffiti that led me into fine art, so I feel I should I mention it as a part of what I have done in the past.
Well, besides the obvious of finding women beautiful I basically started painting girls when I attempted painting because I wasn't really looking to anyone but Klimt for guidance. Since then, I've sort of built my visual language through the expressions of women. Unfairly or not, women have been used objectively in art for so long that I can paint and feel like I am referencing this objective historic subject all while trying to paint the inner emotions of a person, subjectively. Plus, I am primarily only attracted to art that I consider beautiful, so a beautiful women is an easy subject for me. But, when I say I only like work that is beautiful I should point out my opinion of what is beautiful is definitely artistic and at times ugly.
No, not so much. But, I am really interested in life, meaning, understanding, black magic, and skeletons on horseback?
I have used gold leaf before but in no way as technically as Klimt. I love how intense and demanding bright gold is on a painting. Klimt was much more decorative than me, but if it wasn't for his persistence with it as a medium I might not have tried it. I often think of the palaces in Europe I've visited and all the gold rooms and to me at least gold feels classical and special. I love using gold. Especially mixing it with black and a sad subject.
Because they all have issues?
No, not so much. I actually paint most nights of the week. I go out to openings on the weekends sometimes but more often than not I work at home. If I go out for the evening it usually ends up being an all night affair and I can afford less and less of those evenings these days.
The Little Joy, hands down. Besides the smoking ban it's been the same for years. But there are lots of places I like drinking by my house. The Red Lion, this big 2-story German beer garden is fun in the daytime. More often than not though I drink in my own living room, which is in Hollywood, and at times pretty divey.
It is awful. The number of times that our government has failed us over the past 8 years is beyond staggering. I don't think the stock market crash will collapse the country. I do hope whichever Candidate (Obama) wins the election will usher in a new era for America.
Eh, it's been much worse.
Sadly, that list grows daily.
If you think you know, you don't know... If you know you don't know, you know.
Opening Saturday, Oct 4th
Runs till Oct 24th
@Corey Helford in LA
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