Joshua 2’s most distinctive works are known as conceptual expressionism, a form that blends an assertion that the idea behind the finished piece is more important than the art itself (conceptualism), with a belief in the primacy of intuition, emotion, and the subjectivity of the human experience as central vs. a depiction of objective reality (expressionism). Believing himself to be merely a channel for the conveyance of images and meanings from the universe, Joshua also has a fondness for painting various landscapes and fruit. Originals and high quality giclée prints are available in the gallery.
Joshua has evolved the age-old art of decoupage to create unique and functional art. Every vessel contains its own spirit as well as beauty. The vessels are “painted” with the pulp from handmade papers from around the world. The paper is soaked in a special formula to break it down into a paste, which is applied by hand to recycled glass forms. This process has to be done at a quick inspirational pace, with the belief that every piece of pulp is in its rightful place. Once dried, the vessels are sanded like a veneer and sealed for protection so they are durable as well as beautiful. Each finished product is a one-of-a-kind piece of art and is fully functional. A wide variety of sizes and shapes are available for purchase in the gallery.
Blending the sounds of the gospel music of his family’s church with down-home, low-country blues, Joshua creates the Pentecostal Blues, a battle of the soul between good and evil. It’s about being torn by contradiction while holding the opposing forces within. It’s rich and poor, black and white, saints and sinners, love and hate, joy and despair. It’s a condition of being human. We all wrestle with the Pentecostal Blues. Joshua 2 sings them.
As I am today, 62 long years of living on this earth as an artist, and some would venture to say that I am something unusually powerful pertaining to my being and presence. In truth, I am never sure what that really means for me. I am just trying to live my life as truthfully as I can.
I began as a little negro boy in Delaware, yes, the gateway to the south. With all of its hindrance and racism. As I grew up in the gateway, I experienced overt racism and found a way to hold myself in check by doing illustrations of animals and people. The arts were not something that my family understood as something to pursue; we were people surviving, as was evident in our Pentecostal church. My grandfather was the founder of Mt. Zion Holy Church in Milton, DE, a church that still continues to this day. A church built in a swamp land of the town because negros were not able to purchase prime land. However, this did not matter to the family. My grandfather would preach until a spirit or mist would form in the church, then all of the negros who were born to slave parents or sharecropper parents, would sing and shout to the ideal of being pilgrims traveling through this barren land in hopes of a better life beyond this one, in accordance to the Christian beliefs. I do suffer from complex PTSD. In the year of 2020, amid the pandemic and racial strife, I spent time in the desert of AZ to reflect on my life and begin a course of healing. I learned that the effect of poverty is a trauma. I was raised in a poverty-stricken rural area. As the refrain in one of my blues songs goes, “it took some time, but I finally realized that the burden ain’t mine.” I have suffered so many things as a result of being impoverished, being born Black in America, and raised within what I consider a religious sect. All of this has influenced me and my art. Yet, I have only love for my people.