February Artist of the Month | Joshua Benmore/ Artist of the month
After studying art for 7 years and actively practicing for 13, Joshua Benmore has continued to build and explore his art style culminating in what he feels will be his strongest body of work coming later this year. His art has ranged from fashion themed graphite illustrations, mixed media collages and now predominantly bold, saturated portraits. Joshua graduated in 2016 studying Fashion Photography which lends its hand to the stylish characters in his pieces. We chat to the UK-based artist about his work and what is next for him in 2018…
Can you tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a visual creator. My style has been seen to subvert and juxtapose using fashion, humour and emotion. I have touched on themes of religion, consumerism and branding whilst referencing popular iconography or symbols. This year I hope to exhibit my new upcoming collection which was dreamt up from my experience and battles with mental illness. The work will illustrate the inside feelings of mental illness on the outside in a vivid and graphic way. Amongst my work you will find a collection of Mickey Mouse earred, flower infused, space age, lunar love godesses alongside neon puppy Christ, desert wonderers and bubblegum boys. My bold imagery is often Americana inspired and influenced by a range of interests including high fashion, street culture and a love for graphic and colour filled imagery.
What inspires you?
A lot of my inspiration definitely comes from music. When I listen to songs I tend to visualize what I hear, with sounds making me feel and see colours. My process usually involves curating specific playlists of songs, which I feel go alongside my current project, and I divert the energy from these songs into my painting. My go-to playlists can include textural songs from Fleetwood Mac, Vanessa Carlton, Lykke Li and Angus & Julia Stone, to more sonically interesting music like Britney Spears. My inspiration also hugely comes from my love for mid century modern fashion, design and architecture. I feel my work can be seen as aesthetically pleasing, dynamic pop culture portraits but with a deeper consideration – there is commonly an underlying uneasiness and personal meaning. I don’t try to make the meaning or story behind the pieces completely literal, however there is definitely a purpose and part of me in everything I paint. This is definitely more prevalent in my upcoming themed collection which I feel will be a more consequential pursuit. My work is definitely a synthesis of the world I have created around myself and an input of all the pop culture, music, film, fashion and nature around me.
Do you have any upcoming projects or exhibitions? Where can people find your work?
My main upcoming project this year is the ‘Something’s missing, Something’s Coming’ series, with plan for a solo exhibition later this year to support the collection. The paintings will be representative of my colourful, graphic and bold imagery, which juxtaposes with the initial ideas of depression and anxiety, aiming to make the emotions more understandable and accessible to talk about and relate to. The collection comes to terms with my exploration of my own experience and truth, bringing light, colour and hope to what is usually deemed as dark and colourless as well as my familiar influences of pop culture and iconic things I love in life which has been a significant subject matter in my artistic identity. It will include a number of painted portraits as well as large graphic painted phrases, which go alongside the themes. I am also creating some fun little 3D characters for the project which I can’t wait to get to work on. I am really excited about this project. I am also working on another series alongside this, combining various pop culture icons and references to create my signature style of colour filled, graphic narratives. My work can be seen at my website where I will soon be launching some limited edition giclee prints. I also am enjoying creating artwork for upcoming musicians. My space themed portraits for Noctis Magazine can be seen in their latest edition available at various stockists.
Why is Joshua RED?
Joshua has a very distinct style that instantly draws the eye. We love the inventive dreamlike narratives and the element of fantasy he creates throughout his work. He takes much of his inspiration from things like music, pop culture, mid century design, architecture and fashion. These are some of our favorite things and we appreciate how he fuses these all together into his artwork.
Works we love…
You can find more of Joshua’s work at: