Joshua Suda is an artist who specializes in Realism and Hyperrealism. When I saw his website http://joshuasuda.com/, I knew I had to chat with him because his work combines very real images that are ironic and comedic. He’s the real deal too. You’ll quickly find that out while reading our chat.
“… I don't want to tell people what they should get out of my work and honestly there isn't much to get. If you want me to come up with a few lines of bullshit I can, but I'm tired of coming up with bullshit and tired of reading it …”
MICHAEL: Joshua, Your work is sublime. It's Hyperrealism to the max. You seem to love human faces so much that a lot of your work is devoted to it. Plus, it's fun and funny. Why so many tight shots of faces?
JOSHUA: I really don't know what it is about the face and why I tend to focus my efforts painting it. I do know it was something I wanted to master at a young age and even then my efforts were focused on this as a subject. Today, work does echo back to what I was doing as a young lad. I feel that I am trying to impress a 15-year-old version of myself who happens to be a harsh critic and a real prick sometimes.
MICHAEL: I understand that you're dyslexic. How does this condition affect your work? Does it hurt or help? Judging by your work, it seems to be helping big time.
JOSHUA: It's hard to say if being dyslexic help or hurts or helps my work being that I don't have a frame of reference for not being dyslexic. Although it's a nice thought that this has helped my work somehow and maybe in an indirect way it has. Who doesn't want to excel at something? And when reading, writing and arithmetic aren't your strong points, you probably would focus your attention elsewhere. In my case, it was art class.
MICHAEL: Photorealism or Hyperrealism is such an exacting genre. The work is SO vivid and hyper-real. How do you achieve that?
MICHAEL: Haha! Do you do drawings first? Without getting too technical, what's the actual process like?
JOSHUA: I start out with a simple drawing. This is to get the big shapes in the positions I want them. From there, I proceed with my first layer of paint. Here is where most of the craftsmanship comes into play along with establishing my lights, darks and general color.
The second layer, which takes the longest, is dedicated to an array of tasks that include fine tuning the already established drawing, pushing and pulling the value (lights and darks), making edits as I see fit, adding in the detail and adjusting the color to what I feel is desirable. Finally, the third layer usually takes the least amount of time and involves tweaking what was done in the previous layer.
MICHAEL: Your work is also fun and humorous. This is something that is often lacking in contemporary art. I think many artists think that humor may make people take them less seriously. Thoughts?
JOSHUA: I have quite a few thoughts on this and could probably theorize at length as to why we don't see much humor in contemporary art, but to get to the crux of the biscuit, it's about sales. Yes, the reality of the professional artist is that we need to sell art and art with a humorous nature can be a hard sell to costumers in a market that is small to begin with.
MICHAEL: When you're working on a piece, how do you know when it's done? Is it possible to overwork something?
JOSHUA: To answer the first part of your question, when I can't stand to look at the damn thing anymore. Second part of your question, yes, no, maybe? I have no idea. What are you asking me for? Is there any way you could send me a bunch of questions at once? I'll grab a 12-pack and make a night out of it and you'll probably get the most honest answers you ever will get.
MICHAEL: Too many questions at one time would not be an honest conversation. That would be a canned, pre-planned interview. That's not how I roll. Do you come from an artistic family? How did you become an artist? This is such a hard life, being an artist. Why not do something else?
JOSHUA: I come from a creative and resourceful family - both of which are good attributes to have as an artist. I let a dumb ass, thirteen-year-old make that decision because art class was the only thing I excelled in at the time. I ask myself that FUCKING QUESTION every day! By the way, being an artist is easy. Being broke is the hard part.
MICHAEL: And so given that, why continue to be an artist? You can go to law school, med school, business school or learn how to write computer code. Most people won't ever buy art so what's the point of art? Why should people care?
JOSHUA: I'm not really the law school, med school, business school or a computer code writer guy. When I find something better, I'll do it. Until then, I guess I'm an artist and probably always will be.
I think what you meant was most people won't ever buy original art. I would like to point out most people do buy reproductions of art all the time and on an ongoing basis, whether it be on coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, posters, prints, you name it. Depending on how liberally the word “art” is used, you could say it controls us by influencing our actions. I think this is most evident in advertising. I don't know what is the point of art and I can’t say why people should care, but the arts influence all around us whether we like it or not.
MICHAEL: Finally Joshua, Is there a message to your work? If your body of work could speak long after you die, what's the message that you want people to get from you rather than an art historian?
JOSHUA: I don't want to tell people what they should get out of my work and honestly there isn't much to get. If you want me to come up with a few lines of bullshit I can, but I'm tired of coming up with bullshit and tired of reading it.
MICHAEL: Haha! Thanks for the chat Joshua.
JOSHUA: Thank you as well.
Check out Joshua Suda at http://joshuasuda.com/.