Joseph M. Reyes
This series of works is titled “Joe Is Not Here,” it is based on recollection and longing.
As a Canadian artist who lives overseas, most of my works and the text incorporated in them deal with reminiscing over places and time that may or may no longer exist. Even though the images are centered on a specific region, I believe the feeling of not belonging and longing for a time and moment that may exist only on one’s mind, is a universal phenomenon. One does not need to be an expat to feel this frustration, and this frustration, is what inspires me to put pen into page.
The text works as a meditative medium for me, a visual diary that marks the moment into the image. The size of the text is designed to preserve the privacy a traditional diary provides. Viewers are encouraged to test their patience in reading them, but I also encourage them to view the text for the energy they bring to an image compared to a traditional line.
I’m a Canadian artist currently working in Seoul. My work has been featured in exhibitions in Korea and Canada. I often exhibit under pseudonyms, with each pseudonym and made-up biography reflecting a different body of work. I find that the each body of work needs an environment that is separate from the artist. On a few shows, I hired actors to play the part of the artist. I think it’s interesting to see how the audience interacts with the pretend me.
I grew up in Winnipeg and graduated from the University of Manitoba’s School of Fine Arts with Honours. I had an interest in both sculpture and drawing during my university years but later focused on drawing. I have exhibited in several galleries, submitted works to minor art projects, and sold work for private and public collections. Though it is always good to have the rare opportunity to exhibit in galleries, I am always thinking of alternative ways to show art. This is the reason why I experiment with book publishing as way to show art and the use of pseudonyms and actors as stand-ins.
My drawing style consists of images made up of smaller images and text. It is a visual diary which allows those who are physically able an intimate window into the artist’s psyche. I enjoy exploring this need for public expression versus the need for personal privacy. I think the style also gives the viewer a sense of accomplishment as well as satisfying their inner voyeur.