Joseph Losavio

Artist’s Statement

I am a painter, working in the Visionary Symbolist art tradition, who enjoys combining media (oil, collage elements and, at times, sculptural materials) to explore my personal concepts of creation myth and the Hero's journey. Celebrating the Sufi mystical belief that Soul is the root of the manifest world, I employ landscape as a metaphor for the self-reflective universe or meeting place of lover and Beloved.

Inspired by my love of Jungian psychology, comparative religions, Chinese and Japanese literati artistic traditions, American Modernist and Abstract Expressionist art movements, the images on my canvases vacillate between earthly desire and spiritual transcendence, realism and abstraction. I am concerned equally with transcribing the “force” that shapes creation as well as the forms themselves. I seek to celebrate creation as a magnificent, guiltless dialectic present in form and particular as well as unified whole. As a result, I delight in the process of juxtaposing contrasting elements (spatial relationships, color, value, pattern, abstract and realist content) to create interest, surprise and tension. I also enjoy pairing illusionistic painted passages with flattened decorative areas within the same work of art to highlight vision as a layered, textural, associative experience informed by relationships.

Each painting is begun without any preconceived sketches or notions, with only the expectation that each mark will inform the next and that the journey will proceed on its own terms, metaphorically taking on unexpected passengers and following various detours. In the end the subject of each work becomes the process or journey itself. I view myself as a modern pilgrim or itinerant dervish who shares the view of the Italian film director, Federico Fellini, “the visionary is the true realist.”