The love of art is deep sometimes undescribable, but in the same breath beautifully undeniable. Most artists and art lovers alike have a tendency to immerse themselves in what they love. I think no one does this more than the collage artist. Partly for research, but mostly to gather material for their work. Just like a hiphop producer might sample pieces of music, they sample pieces of photography. Photography after all is an artform that often lends itself to be sampled. Bryan Danial Joseph aka DadaSoulFace is no different. His love of “wandering through thrift stores and second hand shops looking for the perfect book to cut up” is a testament to this. The pictures he cuts to form his creations are not an attempt to destroy “sacred “media.” Mostly self taught, but he admits to learning a bit from highschool classes and college design classes. For some the goal is to inspire and stir up deep emotions. To Bryan Joseph it’s “creating graphic tension” with his hand cut collages using vintage images to cause striking juxtapositions. He takes pride in knowing his work is not diluted thru some “pressured theory or constrained rule.”
Sometimes as a creatives we get our inspirations from various places. Like rainforests and baron terrain beauty can be found in unlikely places. Bryan found his in everything from world history & art history, to Richard Pryor and the Dadaist movement in the early 1900’s. He also enjoys digging for meaning in the innovative works of artists’ like Max Ernst ,Romare Bearden, Wangechi Mutu, and Winston Smith. So its no suprise that his musical tastes are eclectic enough to appreciate musician Sun Ra’s compositions. If you are able Bryan shows his work in and around the Chicago-land area. I would highly recommend experiencing his work live and direct. To me the best way to truely appreciate an artists work is live & direct. Though relatively new to me Bryan Joseph has been featured in various printed and online art magazines & publications such as Cults of Life ( Finland ), HorrorSleezeTrash ( Australia ) , and Cultural Dissection Magazine. He was also chosen as the featured artist for the Worm, Rotterdam’s (Netherlands) Afro futurism Now Festival which cataloged some of Bryan’s afro futurist collage works a few years ago.
Ones ambitions can manifest themselves in several disciplines. Bryan manifests his by focusing on doing more out of state art shows with the possibility of gallery representation. There’s absolutely nothing more fulfiling than being recognized for the work yyou do. Bryan Joseph is defenitly deserving of said recognition. Especially when someone is driven and focused to create what is to me a very potent body of work. These days this fellow father is raising his children to be thoughtful and compassionate human beings and at night works on commissions ranging from album cover illustrations to magazine placements. Life doesn’t stop and neither does the need to create and pursue creativty. Mr. Bryan Joseph is in a way an everyman, in an other ways a cosmonaut. Exploring expression, and conveying poignant messages to those of us willing to look. We had the pleasure of getting to shed some light on his unique perspective… Enjoy…
1. How would you describe your work?
My work is spontaneous and in the moment. It ranges from absurdist view points to futurism and back again. I’ll take cue points from art history and interpret my own experiences within the same groove. My visual art is done much like a sampling Dj/ Producer makes a beat. He or she may not have an idea when turning on the sampler. But the minute that beat maker starts listening to records and looking for sounds to sample that is when creation begins. It’s the material at hand that dictates the work. Once a solid concept can be seen I then follow up with conscious design decisions to enhance the idea I find in the process of creating.
2. Some artists express emotion or some less tangible emotions. What are the emotions that you intend to stir up with your work?
I want people feeling confused or perplexed with a hint of mystery. However I’ve had people disgusted by my art before and I kind of enjoyed that response .Hey, talk to my psychologist about that one.lol
3. Do you have a preferred medium, or is it just a matter of what you have on hand?
Paper collage is definitely my favorite medium to work in. I enjoy surfing thru vintage magazines or books. In a way it’s like time travelling. I go thru these old periodicals and choose the most eye catching images then stitch them together to create a hallucinogenic poem from the future. Collage is really a sub-psychic typewriter. I cut and paste visual poems from the subconscious. BUT for relief I really, really enjoy painting in acrylics. Also long walks on the beach are enjoyable.
4. Are political commentaries an intentional theme in your work?
Yes and no. I will take social commentary over political talk. Sometimes these two are circles that intersect. Politicians are necessary targets for artists. The satire is there to show us flaws in the design.
5. Where are you from? How has your origins shaped your style, and artistic perspective?
I was born and raised in Aurora, Illinois. It’s a gritty working class suburb of Chicago that lost out to technology in the early 70’s. It’s trying to make a comeback through the arts and humanities but the struggle is real right now. I love my hometown and I love showing there. There is some really incredible artist that show up for downtown Aurora’s First Fridays that happen every month. My friends from TBA (ThemBadApples crew) throw a really ill Hip-Hop festival every summer. Famed and elusive Graffiti artist Scheme of the classic B-boy documentary Style Wars was throwing down last summer at the fest. There is a great hip hop scene in Aurora. Crews like P.O.B.U.M.S and TBA have held up the CULTURE of Hip Hop there since the 80’s. paving the way for the next gen of emcees, Djs, graf writers, and bboys.! Respect and love to them brothers and sisters. *side note* to those who are 90’s movie pop buffs. Aurora Illinois is NOTHING like the Aurora portrayed in the movie Wayne’s World. That’s the original FAKE NEWS flick. Haha ! but for real my hometown help me become real cynical. *wink
6. Would you call yourself a Dadaist or just heavily influenced by that style?
Dada was a seed art movement that started in 1916-17 out of a psychic upheaval created by World War 1 and the Russian revolution. It was short lived but the impact on the modern art world was everlasting. Yes, I would call myself a neo-Dadaist…An Afrodadaist. I am a Futurist and Surrealist too. Depends on what Ism chamber I’m in that day. Lol I have my own brand of ism(s) though. Soulfacedadaism over all art movement labels or attached pre-fixes. I stay moving in my own lane.
7. What are some other influences?
My own personal experiences, my family, and world history are all influences. Mother Africa and her REAL history are influences. Let’s keep it fuckin real you cannot talk about the arts and humanities without talking about Africa and the contributions made. Now ask me who my favorite artist is and I will say Richard Pryor not Picasso . That’s how I roll. I’m a record collector (mostly records that have drumbreaks in them) so music is a large influence on me. From Jazz, soul, funk, punk, hip hop. My musical tastes are pretty spread out. Romare Bearden ,Basquiat, Winston Smith, Graffiti art, street art, Wangechi Mutu, and Max Ernst are all influences too.
8. Would you say you borrowed your style from those Influences or did they just provide the inspiration to do what it is you do?
I snatch, steal, rob, and murder my influences and inspirations. I create from my own experiences in an automated way, without thinking just doing and whatever drops from my subconscious becomes the subject. I think that answered that question?
9. You use technology in some of your pieces. How important would you say technology is to an in general and your art in particular?
Technology is like a pen or a brush. It is just a tool for the artist to utilize and create with. I’m just now discovering the beauty of collage GIFs.
10. How receptive had the art world been to you? How much has that hurt or helped your progress as an artist?
I’ve been doing shows locally for a minute now and the reception is always good. Lately I have been working on art more than showing it. I’ve been focusing on working larger with my collaging. I’m experimenting with some success, but mostly failure. Lol My output has slowed down a bit because of it. I do have a few shows lined up in the summer. One show will be a group show with my good friend and folk artist MiguelSZ, and my wife Erin Jones Joseph down in Louisville, KY (Tim Faulkner Gallery). Miguel named it “Love is Our Weapon Show” and that’s in the works right now. I’m also bouncing around the idea of doing a one man show sometime in the near future.
11. As an artist do you think notoriety helps or hinders growth?
Fame is the goal I suppose. I come from the idea of respect over money. But audience matters when you have something to say. Notoriety can be a double edge sword. Its all about how one wields it.
12. Any advice for other artist?
Be persistent, resistant, and original. Don’t stop your body rock.
Anything else you want to add?
I would like to give a shout out to my family and friends for your support and honesty. Thank you to my patrons and supporters locally and internationally. Shout out to the Artbar crew, even though I haven’t been doing shows out there lately. I love most of ya’ll lol Peace to the international collage community. Cats like Niko Vartianen and the Cults of Life family have been a blessing to me. PEACE
You can view his portfolio…
We Will Not Resist by Bryan Joseph