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Joseph Lee quits his job to follow his dream
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Joseph Lee quits his job as waiter in a sushi restaurant to follow his dream: he starts painting with a unique and colorful style.

Joseph Lee is a self-taught artist who studies faces and the emotions that inhabit them.  Lee focuses on the parallel between external reality and internal process by manipulating everyday faces and objects through segmented brush strokes, color choice, and volume, converging them into a complete and balanced whole.

The beauty in Lee’s work stems from the manipulation of common everyday forms, such as faces or objects, into an array of energetic and forceful expressions. Each segmented brush stroke and application of color converge into a balanced whole.

This emphasis on the physicality of paint and stroke, color and volume, creates a unique tension within Lee’s dynamic paintings. The surface presence and confidence in each painterly stroke creates a uniquely uncompromising seductive experience for the viewer through the use of paint. In the age of swiping through social media images, these portraits force viewers to stop, inspect the physical craftsmanship and raw nature of these paintings.

Today, Lee continues creating work to examine the psychology of beings behind their “societal masks”. His portraits channel various observations ranging from pop culture references to the daily people he encounters on the street. In addition to gallery exhibitions, Lee has been commissioned by brands such as NIKE & Floyd Mayweather’s TMT for various projects. He has exhibited and sold to major art dealers and collectors in fairs such as Art Market Hamptons, LA Art Show, and SCOPE Miami Beach and SCOPE Basel.


He’s currently based in LA.

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