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Josh Cleary


Josh Cleary - Exhibiting at the Tidy from Saturday the 16th of May till the 13th of June



Josh Cleary Exhibitiing At The Tidy



I believe my artistic style has evolved to where it is today because of my obsession with pop imagery and Pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. I have always been intrigued by the concept of Pop Art and using images and ideas from popular culture to make artworks.


The quote by Andy Warhol “Art is what you can get away with” inspires me to push the boundaries and see what I can get away with! My unrelenting urge to break away from what I was forced into thinking at university has also had an impact on my current style. My lecturers were continually telling me what and how to paint or draw, and then expecting that my paintings had a deep and meaningful explanation to accompany the works. As a result, I have begun to make work that isn’t elitist, making artwork that is easily understood and easily accessible to anyone.


I deliberately choose to draw inspiration from popular culture to ensure viewers either directly recognise an image or have seen one similar to it. This avoids making people stand in front of an artwork wondering what it is about. I feel that if there is no hidden meaning, there is no reason to question its purpose. This allows viewers to simply enjoy the colours, the image and the medium. Basically, I paint and make images that I like, and that others can make. I believe that just about anybody could quickly learn the stencilling techniques required to make work in a similar fashion to this. Another reason for my use of pop imagery and stencilling techniques is due to my need to have an almost instant result.


Being a typical member of “generation Y” (or generation now) group, I am heavily dependent on technology, and want everything now. Using stencilling and pop imagery allows me to make work quickly. I don’t have to wait hours for paint to dry, or for my subject to come back for another sitting on another day. This is also part of the reason I try to make my work value free in terms of an elitist lense. I know that personally I don’t like thinking about the ideas behind an artwork and therefore don’t wish to force this onto fellow generation Y viewers or any other viewers of my work.


In essence, ‘Comic relief’ is an exhibition of paintings that I like, painted using comic and pop imagery to bring some relief from over-worked over-thought, over-conceptualised, elitist art.