Born and raised in Northbrook, IL, Joe received his MFA in Ceramic Art from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2008 and his BA in Studio Art and Anthropology from Knox College in 2003. A childhood spent immersed in Legos and video games left him incurably obsessed with building imaginary objects and environments. From 2009-2014, he served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and Area Head of Ceramics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in Edwardsville, IL. His “Flow Chart” series of installations have been featured at various galleries, universities and art centers throughout the United States.
The escapist allure of immersive environments drives my work, orienting the viewer in a place of comfort and curiosity. The vibrant colors, reductive imagery, and illustrated movements within the “Flow Chart” series of installations are deceptively simple, derivative of early video games, pinball machines, mass transit maps, and schematic diagrams. Within this framework, one soon begins to uncover the world’s underpinnings: a rules-based system of sculptural parameters, compositional logic, and spatial relationships.
“Cloudware” are a series of high-fire porcelain, functional tableware made from a series of modular slipcasting molds (figs. 12-13). These plaster molds are made from the stacking of repeated cloud-like shapes pulled directly from my “Flow Chart” body of installation work. These functional ceramic objects, while made in molds, are each unique due to a highly complex mold system of over two-hundred separate plaster components that cannot be reassembled the same way twice. They are fired to achieve a variety of surfaces evoking darkened storm clouds or a brightly colored, saccharine palette.