Born in Medellin, Colombia and raised in Connecticut, my art career began in trauma. I live with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, the rarest form of CP, characterized by motor skill, balance and depth perception issues. In an effort to overcome and understand this struggle, I began to paint. As I got older, I began to sell pieces here and there to people that connected with their understated intricacy. When diagnosed with HIV, I realized painting was an ideal way to process the complex emotions and reflections wrapped up in the experience. This is the genesis of The Gold Series. Now, three years into the project, I'm ready to move on to exploring other issues such as social justice, race relations, questions of heritage, adoption, expatriation and family to name a few.
All work produced at my studio is influenced by deeply held philanthropic convictions, 20-40% of the net proceeds from each piece, print or study I sell goes to support charitable works at all levels from grassroots to international across a range of issues.
I encourage my art buyers to see they're making an investment not only in me, my work and their personal collections but an evolving philosophy of art, art business and social change.
I reside in Connecticut with my rescue dog Gramercy and enjoy reading, yoga, single malt scotch, road-trips and the outdoors as well as the opera. I nurture a small obsession with the work of Frederic Chopin as well as most EDM.
Three years ago, I began a project with a simple mission: translate my experience with HIV into paintings that speak to the thousands of maybes, what-if’s, could’ve beens and how did I’s which are part and parcel of the virus. The Gold Series is about making the unspoken and unspeakable visual. It is about the combination of my creative voice and spiritual path. It is about the triumph of self over limitations of the body and society.
Spanning 50 original paintings (5 available as prints) and a book featuring my relevant poetry, prose and interviews with other HIV positive individuals, activists and change-makers, The Gold Series is a uniquely comprehensive window into life with HIV/AIDS today and the issues we face together as we fight for an AIDS free generation.
I focus on color theory and abstraction coupled with textures, layering and text-like forms to create complex visual narratives grounded in the exploration of personal and societal issues or stories and meaning itself. My aesthetic and philosophy is directly informed or inspired by artists such as: Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter, Clyfford Still, Jean-Michele Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Wassily Kandinsky as well as contemporary artists Oscar Nin, Andrew Salgado, Molly Zuckerman Hartung, Liam Everett, and Mark Bradford to name a few
HIV and art have a long history, from art-activism of ACT UP, Group Material and Keith Haring or the Downtown 500 to organizations like Visual AIDS today, The Gold Series project is my contribution to this rich history.
For this information please visit www.Jonathan-Joseph.com