Josh Keyes

Gallery Affiliations: David B. Smith Gallery, Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Region: Pacific Coast


City / State: Portland, OR

Sometimes animals emerge from the pages of my sketchbook as singular studies occupying a diagrammatic space, while on other occasions they wander through dystopian landscapes like specimens or dioramas from a mysterious museum of natural history. I build each painting like a collage, with multiple references. Sometimes I use modeling clay to sculpt a maquette of an animal head or other object to help see how light or shadows fall over a form. The imagery that fascinates me is associated with mythology and folklore, specifically the legends and stories that take place in the space between dreams and nightmares. For me, this area contains the strongest psychological relationship to our present ecological situation and gives voice to the underlying existential anxiety and uncertainty many people have about the future.