Joel is a technician, striving to be expressive. Academic training and decades of DIY creative experimentation have provided him with a broad range of artistic disciplines including technical drawing and illustration, studio painting, printmaking, airbrush and masking, and digital media. Joel thrives in the creation process, exploring the use of materials and methods of execution, while developing his own visual language.
I'm intrigued by the balance between surface treatment and the content of the piece. I want evolved images that are both expressive and narrative.
Barber has been heavily active in the Portland visual art and music scene for about fifteen years. He's been showing work in galleries and alternative spaces, monthly, since 1999, curated exhibition venues, booked bands, freelanced graphic design for many a gig poster and album cover, and painted giant murals throughout the northwest. Joel is known for being unafraid to explore new territory and working in series that present unexpected new styles, always with legitimate skill and execution. He makes figurative pieces with familiarity that pull from a broad visual spectrum, balancing gestural brush strokes and paint application, with contemporary influences such as graphic design, graffiti art and digital illustration. Most recently, Joel has been creating paintings inspired my traditional Japanese woodblock prints, Science-Fiction, disaster dreams and volcanos of the Pacific Northwest.