Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph Renda Jr.
Joseph, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I am a 22-year-old Chicago based artist. I started creating late in my life, and I wasn’t the kid who came out holding a paint brush and pencil in both hands. I took an art class my freshman year of high school for an “easy A”, as most students do, and fell in love with creating. Since then I have always tried to push myself and learn everything I can. I recently graduated from the American Academy of Art, with a BFA specializing in oil painting. My work has become a life time exploration as I strive to gain a better understanding of the world around me and myself.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My work is a combination of the classical techniques that I learned at the Academy, with the urban contemporary community I am immersed in. As I take inspiration from the outside world ideas will pop into my head. The ideas that stick for long enough usually will become realized. I construct my own panels as part of a business I founded called Art Builds, and paint on Aluminum Composite. My primary mediums are oil and spray-paint as I feel they are the representations of fine art and urban art, but I also like to experiment with other media. My process becomes a push and pull of paint and sensibility.
I am inspired by nature, life and death and the concept of finding home. When figures are included in my paintings their gaze is typically directed up or off into the distance, creating the idea that beyond their environment lays the exploration of something greater than themselves. The animals act as a metaphor for humanity as they either interact with the figures or become the representation of the figures themselves. Everything I create has a personal story behind it. I use symbolism and motifs to help direct the message, but nothing has a concrete meaning. I like to connect to my audience and keep things open to interpretation, so the viewer can project their own experiences on the pieces. If someone can walk up and they can feel a personal connection to the work I feel I have done well.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
I feel the role of the artist in society is always changing. Throughout history art has had the power to inspire and have a positive impact on both people and places. Art programs promote kids to be creative and think in new and exciting ways. Public art has the power to change environments and bring people together. Art therapy can heal and allow people to express themselves in ways they never thought they could. There are so many examples of the importance of art in society, and the fact that artistic creation dates back to the beginning of humanity shows just how relevant it is to us as people.
As for my personal work I don’t express any political or controversial statements and stay away from doing so. My work comes from inside and the inspirations I take away from my everyday life. I look to create something that not only expresses my thoughts and ideas, but also can connect with others. I love when someone can look at my work and find a story that is personal to them within what I have created. That’s more important to me than anything.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
The best way to view my work is in person. I am in a couple of shows every year, and my next one is July 7th at Vertical Gallery. My work will be alongside two amazing Chicago artists Crop and Pizza in the Rain. This is my biggest show to date as I have been working for almost a year putting pieces together. Another way to view my work is through social media. My website, Jrenda-art.com, is the best way to view my entire body of work. I am also active on Instagram as @j.renda_artist.
Support is something I feel is extremely important to artists success. As much as we create for ourselves we also love the backing of the community. Support to me can be as small as signing up for my monthly newsletter or following on social media, to as big as attending events or to purchase/commission work. I love to get feedback and I am always happy to talk with people about my creative process.
- Website: Jrenda-art.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @j.renda_artist