I often think of my paintings as small, intimate stage sets that I use to play out and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas through objects and their relationship to one another. The scientific format I use in my work screams “rationality” and “precision.” It suggests and stands for the intellect or empirical knowledge, which is concerned with the absolute model of things in the world. I use this dry form of illustration to contrast the personal and emotional response I have to current events and issues. The intersection between things known and things felt is what interests me.

My intention is to create work that asks questions about the implications of urban sprawl and its impact on the environment. I am interested in creating psychological narratives set in closed systems that express the behavior and interaction between humans and animals. The dystopic model provides a dynamic playing field where I can explore the possible future effects that human activity might have on ecosystems, human populations, and the geography of the earth.

My work often contains a hybridization of concepts and imagery that express global concerns about ecological, political, and militarism issues. I try to create work that fuses my personal mythology and imagery with these concerns. The result is a continuous and evolving pattern of fragmented imagery that slowly unfolds like a patchwork quilt.

Josh Keyes is a Northern California painter and sculptor whose work has been shown nationwide. He earned a bachelor’s degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master’s degree in painting and printmaking from Yale University. His work has been published in numerous publications and exhibited in galleries in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, and New York.

This slideshow was selected by guest art editor Mike Shankman.

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