Joseph Adolphe was born in Calgary, Canada. After receiving his MFA in New York City Joseph continued to live in the United States. His paintings have been featured in numerous exhibitions both within the U.S. and abroad. Within his body of work, there is a rich diversity of subjects all of which speak to an underlying conviction that the world our senses perceive reflect deeper metaphysical connections to the world both around us and within us. His paintings share an underlying interest in the universal yet also reflect an intimate autobiographical context that seeks to come to terms with those forces that shape his life. As much as Joseph strives to capture the physical essence of a created thing he also tries to give form to the forces that shape the created thing.
Recent Statement. September 2019
My work is really about two notions competing for attention. One is based on an idealism I have about the way I wish things were. The other is based on what I need to do in order to maintain that idealism.
The paintings of messages floating in a sky over a landscape began really with a simple image I had in my mind. I didn’t know what these paintings were about in the beginning; I was just captivated by the image. As those paintings developed they became for me something so personal that I began to see them as gifts—messages--epiphanies that communicated an overwhelming sense of peace and encouragement. Contentment. They made me become more and more aware of the importance of dreaming, not in terms of escaping but in terms of living a fulfilling and rewarding life. They enkindled in me a deepening desire to be a good father, husband, teacher, and friend. They made me think that wonderful things are not only possible, but also inevitable and within my reach. They still do although it has become evident to me that to maintain those optimistic feelings a no small measure of persistence is required. Much like trying to keep a balloon afloat by continuous puffs of air. Anything of my work that has to do with still life carries with it something of this narrative, which brings me to the other facet of my work.
Images of either animals or people who engage in any form of combat represent for me the other aspect of my work. The subjects are never painted while they are engaged in whatever contest is particular to them, rather they are in a state of anticipation of the contest at hand. Although it might be clear what the ensuing contest might be; the boxer waiting for a match, the bull waiting for the ring etc., they more often than not present an ideal specimen in top form ready to engage with any and all adversaries, both real and imaginary. The reality for these subjects is that in the end they will fall. They will all die. But perhaps falling in the ring is only a very small part of a larger narrative that speaks to something wonderful that exists, and even waits for us beyond our physical universe, which brings me back to the previous body of work…