By Katy Cowan
Portland-based artist Joshua Flint creates paintings that are based on vintage images curated from many sources, such as museum archives and charity shops, and then mixes them up to create new stories that fluctuate between the familiar and the unknown, the past and the present – allowing countless interpretations.
Layered into works are references to liminality, ecological issues, neuroscience, psychological states, and the history of painting, among others. As explained on his website: “The images sourced from out-of-date materials hold a special fascination. Much like observing the ruins of an old, grand building or a church in a state of decay, the characters and objects that populate his paintings are employed to create a sense of ephemerality, imbuing the work with a kind of fascination and anxiety, over the passage of time.
“Used in this way they serve as reminders that cutting edge trends and novelty will evolve into new iterations or be abandoned altogether. In addition, most of the photos incorporated into the works do not contain elements that were directed or photographed by the artist, all of which allows a certain distance to reinterpret as he sees fit.”
Joshua adds: “I can see this person or place in a photograph but know nothing about what is going on beyond those paper borders. That ambiguity, between the seen and unseen, between the real and the imaginary, is where my paintings live.”
Joshua received a BFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2002. He has exhibited extensively in the US at galleries such as Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, Sloane Merrill Gallery in Boston, and La Luz de Jesus Gallery in LA. His work has been featured in American Art Collector, Southwest Art, and Poets and Artists. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and lives in Portland, Oregon.