According to a 2001 survey by the North American Vexillological Society the Wisconsin State flag is currently ranked in the top 10 worst designed flags against other North American States and Provinces (65th out of 72). In the past I have sought to design alternate proposals for the City of Milwaukee official flag which is also ranked very low against other major US city flags. Below I have included a few proposals to serve as unofficial symbols or arms' coat for the State of Wisconsin.
Simplicity, recognition, color, and uniqueness were stated criteria to determine a well designed and and effective flag. Design errors include State Seals on blank backgrounds (especially generic blue), busyness, and the use of words or actual spelling out a state's name. In the case of the Georgia State flag that was ranked dead last in this survey there was an official redesign in 2003. Check out the rest of the survey here: http://www.nava.org/flag-design/survey/state-provincial-survey-2001.
Excited to display this work at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, Virginia for a special exhibition highlighting the 100th Anniversary of the United States entering WWI. Look out for more on this in the future.
Click to view in full screen.
Never too old to build a fort.
"Plastic Mind", highlights imagination and play as an artistic process, serves as a commentary on painting aesthetics, and places physical associations of form and material as a metaphor for the interworking of the human brain.
The installation is made mostly out of wooden stretcher frames and lattice as basis of the sprawling arrangement throughout my art studio. Other readymade objects include: unprimed canvas, drawing table, art easels, rulers, T-square, measuring tape, level, 1 gallon of white paint, oil tubes, paint brushes and rollers, painter rags, frames, wood saw, coffee cup, Army Officer's coat, American flag, fencing saber and face-cover, and fireman's axe.
The title, "Plastic Mind", refers to the term "plasticity." In the mind and in physical form, plasticity implies change, alteration, or manipulation. The installation's composition and spatial form is inspired by neurons and synapse pathways. The interconnectedness of the balanced materials and personal artifacts is representation of memories, associations, and functions found within the human mind.
The majority of the materials I used are art supplies used to construct and producing paintings. The installation itself is allegoric to painting or still-life though does not consist of any brush strokes or marks. The empty canvas, wooden stretchers, and decorative frames suggest an invitation of imagination and play.
See the full project and images here: www.joshuajhunt.com/plastic-mind/
The Branding Creativity exhibition at the UW- Parkside includes Milwaukee-based artists showcasing the influence of advertising and company branding. Each participating artist selected a local or nationally-based company and developed a branding makeover through creative design.
In "Pop Temple", my approach to branding focuses on the reality and effects of ritualistic consumption and desire: a contrast to polished images and branding ideals.
The featured products used in the installation are Marlboro Red and Cola-Cola. Other brands included are Seagram, Solo Cup, Little Caesars, Johnny Walker, Miller, Bic, and Bicycle Playing Cards.
On the kitchen room table is a brown paper bag full of newly purchased "provisions": a carton of Marlboro Reds, a bottle of Seagram's 7, a package of Solo Cups. Additionally, there is an unopened 12 pack of Coca-Cola; other items on the table include an ashtray and matches, shot glasses, dice, playing cards, and a heads up quarter.
Aside the table is a grocery bag full of "party trash", implying what happened the night before.
Lastly, is a pedestal that features a slide projector placed on a pizza box. The casted image above the table includes the iconic, peaked Marlboro logo and the Coca-Cola swoosh.
Complementing themes of consumption, I chose brands associated with the color red, conveying man's most profound urges and impulses. The unopened products on the table symbolize an open invitation for consumption; however, the implied consequences, regret, and sustaining allure of these products are advertised in the garbage bag.
Come to Where the Flavor is. Just Do It. Give In. Enjoy.
This work, "The Give and Take", is a long awaited return to oil painting. This painting is debuting at the Branding Creativity Exhibition at UW-Parkside (January 15- March 5th).
The dynamic painting includes themes of technology, interpersonal relationships, imagination, and critiques of painting aesthetics.
The painting is formatted as a letter to a lover with a diverse message, this is presented in the bold cursive "Dear Sincerely" in the top left of the picture plane implying an introduction to a written message.
Several motifs indicate a metaphor for exchanges which inspire the painting's title, "The Give and Take." These motifs are: the letter in the mail box, the key and the key hole, the plug and the outlet, the tea bag and the cup, and the olive over the martini glass.
Other elements are self referential to painting and reference the artist, myself. First in the bottom right corner is "-Hunt" which double serves as a signature for the painting and the author of the letter. Also, the painting's size dimensions (43''x58'') and year(s) made ('13-'14) are noted. Lastly, each color used in the painting is displayed in sculptural globs of paint showcased on the 2-D palette. These elements clash with the illusion of depth and refer to the painting as simply being a 2-D artifact as well as a representational window.
These clashes of aesthetics and content are further seen in the binary code sets in the top and bottom and the messages surrounding the computer screen. The two sets of zeros and ones are redundant in nature, the first set of 8 numbers are interpreted in Binary as meaning "0" and the second set as "1". The message displayed on the computer screen is the entire alphabet and number system as displayed on a keyboard. This message both implies the entire spectrum of feelings: the full gamut of love to hate to indifference is suggested.
Look forward to more paintings to come. Enjoy!
Nothing too serious: an extension of a past project "Modern Memes" in which I project personal associations with the experience of establishing one's self as a professional artist.
Somewhat inspired by the work of Op Artist Victor Vasarely, these works emerged from recent work involving a triangular model for color.
What you see below results from my procrastination to drive home for the holidays. The triangle design is somewhat inspired by the Goethe's Color Triangle. Also I included variation on the color square form yesterdays post. Happy holidays and travel safe.
Using color theory and repetition as a metaphor to explore interpersonal frameworks and individual identity and morality. These images are comprised of thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of individual color squares structuring a fluid sense of unity. This work is an extension of a past project, "Light Fields," where I analyzed possibilities involving additive color theory. In the project I explored concepts involving non objective and abstract aesthetics related to minimalism, color field painting, and neoplastism. These works include subjective meanings and associations of relationships and ethics while simultaneously indicating the impersonal qualities of the digital process.
absolute as it is impure
resolved as it is dissonant
infinite is limited
definite is arbitrary
unique as we are ordinary
together as we are separate
intimate as we are impersonal
Below this art references american popular culture and is a first installment of work involving the uniqueness of generations x and y.
I am visiting pop art and its importance in American and contemporary art. Lately I have considered the work of Warhol, Basquiat, and Midwest artists Reginald Baylor and Huey Crowley who have relied on pop culture icons in their art for the purpose of giving societial and consumer context to their work.
This work is non-objective and color field in form but is comprised of elements of the famous Marlboro and Coca-Cola logos. From an objective standpoint, the composition could suggest a grim landscape, with a peeked house or temple. This work is a bit dark and touches on the more blightful influences that face our generation: the unnecessary desire.
This Thanksgiving break I am at home in Green Bay researching art schools, artists, galleries. In applying to graduate school I am reviewing my past works to solidify my intent and major aesthetic concerns. This investigation has led me to revisit my work with color theory and objective symbolism.
Alpha. Omega. Repeat.
Below these two works' concept invovleing the value range, color spectrum, and the numeric and alphabetic system. Inspired by works of Donald Judd and Bauhaus de stijl, these elements combined and repeated is a metaphor of the basis and complexity of art, culture, literature, mathmatics, language, science, humanity, and innovation.
I have had this drawing under wraps for too long and just can't help but share it. This drawing, Visions of Our Order, is an extension of work I did for the Boy Scouts of the America celebrating their national honor society, the Order of the Arrow, upcoming 100th Anniversary. Unlike the 15 commissioned drawings for the OA given to me between 2010-2013, this drawing, Visions of Our Order, was self directed.
This drawing is inspired by a painting by the Boy Scouts of America's Official Painter, Joseph Csatari, titled Visions of the Founder. His commissioned painting subjected the OA's Founder E. Urner Goodman in his youth storytelling to a couple of young Scouts surrounding a fire. Above the founder depicted representations of rugged Arrowmen doing trail work indicating service and other parading Scouts bearing lodge signs showing brotherhood and cheerfulness. Moreover, in the upper plane of the painting Csatari includes a ceremonialist placing the OA sash upon an Ordeal Candidate. All of these figures are placed on a tilted perspective with a grassy area and river in the foreground and a mountainous landscape in the background.
I was fortunate to study Visions of the Founder painting throughout the 2012 National Order of the Arrow Conference where both Csatari's paintings and my drawings were displayed across one another. His paintings at the conference served as a frequent reminder I should be vigilant in my art pursuits with the OA and BSA so I may one day add too the traditions of of Scout painting set by Scouting artists J.C Leyendecker, Norman Rockwell, and of course Joseph Csatari.
After the conference I constructed this composition and came to the title Visions of Our Order as in direct reference to Csatari's Painting. In my charcoal composition is somewhat divided between 3 sections: top, middle, and bottom but also includes elements that unite and structure the entire drawing such as the vigil triangle and OA handclasp. Centered in the top third of the drawing depicts the OA cofounders, E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson; they are shown in an elderly state responding to the young Goodman in Csarari's painting 'envisioning' the future of the OA, the dominant cofounders in my drawing were fortunate to see their 1915 vision grow out throughout their life into a cornerstone of the BSA affecting countess youth. Also centered at the top includes an elected youth officer having an Indian bonnet placed on his head in gesture of an exchange of power. On the left includes Arrowmen carrying shovels and tools amidst a New Mexican sunrise in token service. On the right includes the first induction, Harry Yoder the first guide, and Goodman's Vigil atop the Devil's Tea Table overlooking Treasure Island in the Delaware River. The top portion of the drawing represents of the OA's humble origins and development into a modern phenomenon promoting leadership and service.
The middle third of the depicts an induction ceremony complete with the four ceremony principles and two Ordeal Candidates bound with rope guided around fire. In some ways the fire smoke of this middle section creates an atmosphere for the top third similar to how Csatari's uses the story telling Goodman to introduce the 'vision' above. In my drawing I to stress the importance of the induction process which tests candidates through limited shelter, scant food, a vow of silence, and a day spent in arduous labor. These challenges all lead to ceremonial recognition and the OA obligation emphasizing cheerful service. Every Arrowmen shares the experience of the Ordeal and Induction; at a basic level it holds the spirit of the entire organization.
The bottom includes the OA handclasp, highlighting brotherhood, and a caption that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the OA. The strong value structures and dominate forms are the foundation for the upper, more intricate, elements of the drawing which becomes. Typically I do not use captioned text within my drawings but I feel that it helps unite the top and bottom and also gives a clear explanation of the commemorative drawing.
This drawing was very reflective for me as I used both my knowledge of OA history and personal experiences as a Scout to give the subject of upcoming OA anniversary a visual form. I am glad to finally release the drawing for art enthusiasts, friends, family, and the Scouting community alike to enjoy. I intend to use this layout to make an official painting for the 100th anniversary and likely be displayed and used for purposes at the 2015 NOAC. Stay Tuned.
The talented, enthusiastic, and genuine singer/ songwriter Shawn Connelly is debuting his first solo album Observer Defined featuring one of my drawings for its cover art,
Shawn is a traveler at heart, raised in Wisconsin he has extended his residence around the world including London, Thailand, and Hawaii (all very impressive for a twenty-something). Returning from living in Alaska last year, Shawn produced this album between his two primary residencies New York City and Green Bay, WI. Having listened to all of his tracks during the creation process of his album art I can see how the experiences of living in contrasting places such as the Alaskan wilderness, the New York grind, and the ever humbling Northern Wisconsin have influenced his songwriting and overall life perspectives.
One's place within and between two.
Between Shawn and I, we came up with an overall theme for the album art which was the merger and separation of nature and civilization. The image includes reflections of mountain landscapes an city skylines. One place I attempt to clearly show the difference between nature and civilization is in the top corners of the page where I draw a set of flying birds (left) and an airplane (right).
The album art double serves as the CD jacket when folded and an album poster when unfolded. The DIY approach of handfolding every album reflects how personal this project is to Shawn. Rather than seeking out conventional means of producing the album he relied on select musicians and artists that he knew personally, particularly Ed Cuervo, to collaborate and help make this album into reality.
Anyway, I am very excited to be apart of this project by producing the album art for Shawn Connelly Sound's Observer Defined. I am so excited for shawn and wish him the best of luck duing his album release next Saturday Nov, 8th. Check out more about Shawn at:
Recently I was interested in creating a new flag design for the City of Milwaukee. I compiled over a dozen designs (a few of which are gems) intended to be a more effective symbol for Milwaukee than the current flag which is ranked very poorly among other major US cities flags. The current flag is haphazard and overly complicated whereas I attempted to make economy minded and lakefront inspired symbols.
Also, all this talk of flag design brought me to revisit the City of Green Bay official flag. Green Bay being my birthplace and hometown I felt it would be only right to make a design in homage to Titletown, USA.
The City of Green Bay flag proposal is inspired by the waters of the Green Bay and Fox River separating Titletown's west and east sides. Click here to visit the MKE Flag project in full!
Here is my new home/ news page. Now I have a fresh slate for images, updates, and articles for your enjoyment and reference. The old news page is still available and is listed as News Archive. Nevertheless, I am excited to keep making and posting art and articles so remember to keep in touch as new additions are made public.