Joseph Justus is a contemporary American artist whose works re-imagine the physical and conceptual landscapes of his hometown, Los Angeles. Drawing inspiration from the urban fabric and the human body, his paintings experiment with surfaces that act as lenses or x-rays steadily moving in and out of plane. We see one thing on the surface – skin, buildings – but there are complex currents right under the surface.
The process of painting is very physical for Justus. The paintings weave themselves through a composition of marks, voids, and luscious chunks of paint. Timing is critical in his current work. It is not just a visual process, but a wager measured by the constraint and adrenaline of speed and timing. For Justus, the act of painting is surrounded by restlessness, moments of production, and moments of waiting. Living and working in diverse Los Angeles, his observations of the city are reflected in the visual forms of his compositions.
Justus received his BA in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley and MA from Columbia University, New York. While living in Los Angeles he worked for Frank Gehry for nearly a decade, having design roles on projects such as Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Facebook Headquarters. Recently, he has recalibrated his career, starting his own multidisciplinary practice with an emphasis on painting.
Justus lives and works in Los Angeles. He has participated in group and solo exhibitions both in the United States and Germany.