A multidimensional artist, Joshua 2 finds expression in a wide variety of media and genres. His paintings include conceptual expressionist works most often featuring human figures in pastoral settings. As a singer, Joshua invokes a blend of authentic gospel, folk and low-down country blues. His band celebrates the history and continuing relevance of original blues music. The paper-painting technique used for vessels is a process Joshua developed through trial and error over many years. In all his artistic pursuits, Joshua believes in the healing power of truth.
Joshua 2 was born in Cool Springs, Delaware into a religious sect of Pentecostal people in 1960. He grew up in poverty in an extended family of church leaders: prophets, elders, bishops and pastors who demonstrated intense faith and conviction for the teachings of Christ and the virtues of a simple life devoted entirely and exclusively to God. Joshua's paternal grandfather, Elder Jacob Brittingham, was a faith healer and pastor of the Mount Zion Holy Church, closely affiliated with Mt. Sinai Holy Church of America, which was founded on the principle of equality between women and men. Throughout his childhood, Joshua attended church several times each week and witnessed incredible events that were considered commonplace and evidence of the power of God: healings that restored sight to the blind, people speaking in tongues and “giving themselves over to the spirit.” Elder Brittingham was one of seven so-called "Dark Horses" in the Mt. Sinai Church whose mission it was to go into the "farthest and darkest reaches of society" and" bring people to the light" for salvation of their souls.
Coming of Age
At home, Joshua (the second of eight children and the oldest boy) was responsible for helping to raise his six sisters and a brother in the three-room house they shared with their parents. At school, he overcame racial barriers and a speech impediment to become a star in theater productions and a successful track and field athlete. His talent as a visual artist also emerged. All the while, his parents and church elders believed that he "had been chosen by God" and would follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and aunt, Bishop Ruth Batten, who assumed her father's position as leader of the church. At the same time, teachers and school administrators encouraged factory work, in keeping with the type of career advice directed towards non-white students. Joshua, rejected both visions for his future. So, at age 16 after an early graduation from high school and acceptance to the University of Delaware, Joshua went against his parents' wishes and left home.
At college, Joshua was known throughout the campus for his acting, singing and artistic ability. Joshua was also active in the civil rights movement. He became president of the Black student union and inspired students of all races to join in the protest against racism on campus and other problems facing the small minority of non-white students. In his sophomore year, Joshua was initiated into the Beta Sigma chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Always resisting categorization, Joshua advocated for a community and a society where separations between people are destroyed in favor of shared truth and an acknowledgement of the common human existence. His leadership was respected and admired by students and faculty alike.
After studying psychology in college, Joshua decided to move on in pursuit of his calling as an artist. He attended the Philadelphia School of Art and Design and later was a visual artist at Bonwit Teller specializing in fashion marketing and promotion of haute couture apparel. This took him to New York City where he worked as an illustrator while also continuing to hone his fine arts techniques by attending classes ranging from conceptual expressionism to realism. In Washington, DC, he made a name for himself in contemporary fine art with numerous solo gallery shows and exhibits of his paintings. Later, while living in Maine, North Carolina, and Rhode Island, Joshua continued to refine and expand his artistic repertoire, and the paper-painting technique emerged. Now living in New York, Joshua is known as "The Reverend" at a number of jazz and blues clubs in Harlem. Recent experiences traveling abroad have led him into a deeper understanding of human kind, specifically supremacy and its implications on all humans. He learned that racism, sexism, exploitation, disparity and all of the other forms of hate are not a one-nation sin, but exist the world over. Joshua is often heard saying "I've been so many places and have seen many things in my life and time". He believes that until we as a people learn our history we will continue to propagate division and supremacy, which will in turn continue to create war and rumors of war. He believes still, that we are capable of rescuing our selves by being altruistic towards the world, showing love and compassion.
From 1980s runway fashion croquis to performance art (as both actor and teacher), school and community arts consultation to forming a blues band, Joshua2's artistic career has been rich and varied. He even did a few stints in the corporate world working at Marriott International and as a freelance event designer for numerous F500 companies and the top levels of foreign and domestic government agencies. Today with Joshua2 Studios, he's dedicated full-time to making art and music in parallel with the ongoing evolution of his social justice activism.