LA-based self-taught artist Joseph Lee creates abstract modern art paintings that are equal parts haunting, striking, and downright cool. Lee is also an actor, and the study of human faces and the emotions that inhabit them fuels his artistry.
ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON AUGUST 6, 2019
By manipulating everyday faces and recognizable objects through segmented brush strokes in his modern art paintings, Lee examines the dichotomy between external realities and the inner workings of one’s mind through the modern art presented.
Even though no facial details that would typically convey emotion are revealed, Lee still manages to portray intense expression through his modern art paintings. A tilt of the head or angle of the jaw conveys mood and gaze.
Each portrait painting character is distinct, named for the feelings Lee associates with each such as ‘Innerchild’, ‘Homewardbound’ and ‘Pieces of Disquiet’. In his modern art paintings, Lee’s distinct brushstrokes lay across one another as if pieces forming a chaotic puzzle, yet the final result appears converged as a complete and balanced whole.
Despite the somewhat somber connotations of his concept, the modern artist uses bright and bold colors for his abstract portraits. Some are reminiscent of a lipstick counter, with faces formed out of complementary shades of nude and pink, while others are more abstract and multicolored with predominant blue and green shades.