Joe Coleman

born in Norwalk, Connecticut, USA, in 1955
lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Coleman’s portraits create complete biographies by surrounding their subjects with interweavings of miniscule images and explanatory text. Artist and viewer embark on exploratory excavations of the subject’s life through the painting. Coleman’s jewel-box approach means that one experiences the paintings afresh at each viewing, uncovering ever more details and nuances that were previously undetected. An admirer of Northern artists such as Bosch, Brueghel and Grunewald, Coleman employs the same attention to detail and delicate sense of scale, utilizing dual and single haired brushes in conjunction with magnifying lenses to create his refined masterpieces. Like those artists, Coleman also displays a propensity for the gruesome and grisly and often attempts to both dissect and glorify the terrible in many of his paintings, unmasking with brutal honesty the truth of human nature.