© josephayers.com

 

                  Artist Statement  

 

I am an artist, teacher, and curator.  These three practices continually inform my work and ideas, and I am humbly thankful to the artists, students and teachers whom I've worked with.  Much of my personal inspiration wells from growing up in rural Gulf Coast Florida working as the son of a shrimper and handyman, and also from experiences serving as an Electrical Lineman in the US Air Force while stationed in Alaska.  Following my enlisted service, I began to study Fine Art at the University of New Orleans with a focus in digital media, and afterward pursued a Masters of Fine Art from Hunter College City University of New York with a focus in Combined Media.   As an MFA student I began making connections with my past through art making, and naturally focused on relationships I witnessed between the rapidly changing landscape and new technology.  Directly after Graduate School I began my teaching career, developing classes that fused together contemporary theory, analog, hands-on art making, and digital tools and techniques in video, animation, and new technology.  I currently live and work in the Hudson Valley of New York, and teach interdisciplinary courses at Parsons School of Design. 

 

By combining traditional media and new technology, the aesthetic language in my work explores both connections and disparity between changing cultural and psychological perceptions. The subjects in my work vary from personal to political, often creating abstract narratives between disparate elements.  I feel a strong connection to the Dada and Surrealist artists of the turn of the century, and their impulse to raise questions about conventions, and challenge perceptions, is at the core of my practice.  Integrating found objects, live edge wood, repurposed building materials,  new media devices and technology, video, audio and animation, drawing and painted trompe l’oeil surfaces, the works subtly challenge perceptions, while contemplating the divide between the analogue and digital. 

 

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