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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ethos, Ephemera, and Aesthetics:

Every now and then I like to feature the work of artists I respect. One such artist is Josef York. Obviously, my love of the ocean naturally draws me to his surfing motifs, but it is more than that. Josef has the ability to capture the ethos of the beach culture, quest, and community. There is also a vintage quality which comes through in his technique--as if a snapshot taken through the gauze of my own memory.

Further proof of his ability to capture the ethos of the human experience are his golf motifs. I am not a golfer, but when I see his paintings I want to golf--to feel the still solitude of morning hours, with the verdant nap of opulent green under foot. I sense the strange hybrid of focus and relaxation that merge in the odyssey for accuracy. The studying of lines and landscape to ferret the best path for one’s athletic ambition. I am drawn in completely.

While Josef is equally skilled at sketching he prefers to work with acrylics on canvas. When talking about his inspiration Josef states, “Art is in the genes. So many of my family members are incredible artists. I was blessed to see their talents with a brush, a pencil, even crayons. I grew up sketching and drawing the things that caught my eye, the things I love to do. Growing up in Harbor City California riding waves, riding concrete and hanging out around that scene, (creative endeavors in their own right) have filled my cup and inspire most of my art to this day.”

In fact, Josef still spends a lot of his time “playing outside”, skating, golfing, hiking and exploring--waiting for that “fickle mistress” of creative inspiration to strike. Moreover, he also works as a Mental Health Therapist. He even participates in after school programs with troubled youth riding along side them at skateboard parks. If that weren’t enough he is a father of four, which confirms my belief that the most relevant art is produced by those immersed in the human experience, not in the halls of academia, nor in the snub-nosed cliques of aesthetic elitists. It is art that brings warmth into the cold space of a gallery.

Whether captured on a cave wall, sprayed as graffiti in an alley, or painted as a fresco on a cathedral dome. Whether attached by magnets to a fridge, or held in a golden frame at the Louvre. Art is an expression of the human filter reconstructing impressions of inner and outer realities--to preserve ephemera in the perennial frame, even as it exists in heart.

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