Josh Keyes

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Josh Keyes (b. 1969) is an American contemporary artist who works with painting, drawing, and installation art. He currently works out of Portland, Oregon. His work has been described as ‘a satirical look at the impact urban sprawl has on the environment and surmises, with the aid of scientific slices and core samples, what could happen if we continue to infiltrate and encroach on our rural surroundings.’

Josh’s work brings to mind the detail and complexity of natural history dioramas, and the color and diagrammatic complexity one might find in cross section illustrations from a vintage science textbook. His work has developed over the past years into a complex personal vocabulary of imagery that creates a mysterious and sometimes unsettling juxtaposition between the natural world and the man made landscape.

Keyes’ interest in creating paintings that fuse realism with the possible often evokes the imagery found in dystopian and post-apocalyptic literature, while other works express the optimism and utopian ideas found in the writings of Buckminster Fuller and Paolo Soleri.

Keyes often incorporates objects and animals into his dissected environments that have personal iconographic significance. He weaves his personal mythology through fractured and isolated landscapes that are either overgrown with vegetation or underwater, and often depict historic or military monuments covered with graffiti.

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