Dirk Joseph is a visual artist, performing artist, and art teacher.
Visual artwork includes:
illustration and graphic design
mural design and installation
Performance Art includes:
writing and performing puppet shows
theater "narrative improv"
community arts facilitator
public school art teacher
creative workshop facilitator
I paint to record dreams and experience.
I paint to create dreams and experience.
Before the notion of being an artist ever occurred to me, the process of "creating art" was as compulsory, subtle and vital as the exchange of breath. In my youth, art was play at it's most sacred, honest and intimate. It was how I explored what I perceived to be the forces composing and influencing my existence. I discovered early that imaginative play allows us to create particularly specific simulations that we can use to explore previously observed narratives, as well as bring into existence emergent narratives from personal spaces. As children, we all intuitively know this, but as youth make their way through the gauntlet of societal conditioning, and are pelted with a targeted barrage of distractions that take us away from direct experience, we all too often emerge with a profound disassociation from our authentic self.
I was deeply blessed to have as playmates, a brother and sister that were "ride or die" when it came to imaginative play. This was a time before game consoles and personal computers were a thing. This was before TV programming for children ran 24 hours a day. This was the 1970's in Brooklyn New York where near midnight in the summer time youth of various ages would be playing on sidewalks and in the street. Most of the games we played were very organized but lent themselves to being tweaked depending on who was playing. The block we lived on seemed to me to be a self contained universe.
For me, it was particularly satisfying to craft items that we would play with and enact stories with. Masks, theater props, action figures, story books, and board games were created on demand. Base materials were cardboard, bits of aluminum foil, paper, pencils, and an assortment of repurposed items that would otherwise be destined for the trash.
The thought of actually being an artist was not on my radar until a couple years after High School.
-This text is unfinished and presently being added to in a somewhat sporadic manner. -Dirk