Born in 1973, Joe Black studied as a sculptor before moving on to illustration and working for many years as a successful commercial artist, before becoming a full-time fine artist. Now focused solely on his personal body of art, Joe Black does not refer to himself as an artist but more as an “image- maker.”
According to the artist himself, he will use pretty much anything small enough to build his large images and creating vast tonal effects. In addition to these contrasting tones, Joe seeks to further enhance his pieces by selecting an object that will pay tribute to the iconic imagery it creates. This is perhaps best illustrated by his use of plastic toy soldiers in his depiction of Robert Capa’s iconic boy soldier piece “Made in China” (2011).
Since committing himself to the world of full-time fine art, Joe has stormed the art world, stunning it with his powerful mix of image selection and craftsmanship. He is at the vanguard of the current Pop Art movement and in the great traditions of craftsman before him; he is rigorous in his commitment to produce excellence. He demonstrates a level of skill that often falls outside the viewers’ understanding of what is possible.
A Joe Black work is generally best viewed from a 50-meter distance.
Black combines his natural craft skills with a love of materials - many of which are recognizable everyday objects - to create portraits and abstract works. Each piece is painstakingly created using thousand upon thousand of ball bearings, plastic pins, badges or Lego Bricks.Using a laborious technique of hand painting and altering each tiny object to give gentle lines and shading to his subjects, Black has pioneered an elaborate new form of pixilation that he uses to hid subtle implications within each of his images.