BO JOSEPH’s (b. 1969, California) work is distinguished by a complex and labor-intensive process that he has developed over the years, which begins with a selection of images culled from his vast archive of catalogs, personal photographs and books. In both Joseph’s cast bronze sculptures and joined paper pieces, the selected souvenirs are visually stripped of normal reference points and distilled into solid shapes. In the paintings on paper, outlines of these shapes are drawn multiple times in vivid oil pastels onto various layers of paper. Other recent works include a series of wall reliefs in a new technique developed by the artist. These graphic sculptures achieve their rich patina from casein, a medium made with milk protein with 11th-century origins. Joseph cites Louise Bourgeois and Joseph Beuys as profound influences not only on form and color choices, but also on the use of recontextualization to extract the charge from found sources.
Joseph lives and works in New York City. He received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1992 and has received awards and honors such as the Basil H. Alkazzi Award, and fellowships in painting from Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. He has been a visiting artist/lecturer at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth and the Rhode Island School of Design where he also taught drawing. His work can be found in museums nationally and abroad including Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; and Guilin Art Museum, China. Joseph’s work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at Lee Eugean Gallery in Seoul, South Korea (2017), Sears Peyton Gallery in New York (2016) and McClain Gallery in Houston (2015 and 2020). Joseph’s sculptural work was included in McClain Gallery’s 2018 exhibition re:construction and in their booth at the Dallas Art Fair in 2019.