written By Maria Vogel

You’ve mentioned before you look to artists that pay attention to the minutiae of culture – how have you seen the minutiae of culture change since you began exploring this idea?

In a general sense this is always evolving; As the social / political environment changes so do all of the relevant cultural signifiers. Signs take on new meanings when the context shifts – memes go through cycles, football goes from entertainment to being hyper-political, characters become subtly racist, etc. On a personal level, I’m always looking at new things so the shift in my content becomes reactive to that.

How has living in NYC effected your work?

One of the biggest effects on the work has come through the inherent overstimulation in the city; it’s a constant stream of diversity, noise and people. The direct and seemingly ceaseless exposure to great artists and exhibitions inspires me to always be working.

You employ different materials and technique in creating your works, is there a methodical evolution to this or is it more of random decision making?

I’m always looking for new ways to push paint, figuring out how to use different tools and mediums establishes its own series of problems to solve. It’s a good challenge that lends itself to a lot of failed paintings, but I think there’s always something to learn from making a bad painting.

Josh Reames
Josh Reames
Josh Reames
Josh Reames

Do you have a favorite or preferred painting technique?

I’m most comfortable with the airbrush but I’ve been using it less and less. I’ve never been that great using a paintbrush, so naturally I have been using it more. Oil has been a recent addition to my work – it’s way outside my comfort zone and therefore enticing.

You recently had a show that included sculpture – was this a new medium for you to work with? Is introducing new mediums to your practice important to you?

Most of my solo shows have a sculptural or installation element. It’s not the day-to-day focus in the studio like painting but I do keep a list of sculpture ideas going and am always waiting for the right time and space to make them happen. The sculpture / installation aspect is always an extension of the paintings, pulling the paintings into the space. I think they complicate the paintings and also expand on them.

What other artists keep you inspired and why?

I’m most inspired by other artists that are prolific workers with a weird edge. People who push through ideas and make a lot of good and bad stuff. Everyone I know with this kind of work ethic ends up making good work and this inspires me to have the same approach.

What’s next for you? What are you excited about?

After all the Frieze stuff this week, I’ll be in San Francisco for a show at Guerrero Gallery. I’m showing with Kara Joslyn, Brian Nudo Rosch, and John De Fazio; it should be a fun time. After that I’m excited about the summer!

Josh Reames
Josh Reames
Josh Reames