Born, KY 1971
Resides, Columbus, OH
Joey Monsoon is a self-taught figurative artist from Columbus, Ohio. The characters in his paintings show weariness from the toil of life, yet a will to endure the struggle. The narrow structures of flesh and bone seem fragile, but the eyes reveal an inner strength. It’s rare to see a self-taught artist so interested in the anatomy of his people; how muscles and sinew animate bodies that have felt the weight of the world. Their thin wrists demand thick skin… life may have beaten them up, but they can take it. Monsoon’s work finds a mythic heroism in our common journey through our personal Underworlds. Joey Monsoon knows these people, and he respects them.
Monsoon fell in love with drawing heroes and characters as a child… he drew obsessively and has never stopped. He was later drawn to the expressionist portraits of Egon Schiele, the energy of graffiti and the underground art of Robert Williams.
In his own words:
“My figures and portraits hover somewhere between reality and myth. Their worldly weariness is revealed through a dream-like lens. They are not so much portraits of people as they are portraits of emotional triumphs and failures. We don’t always know their stories, yet in our gut we know how they feel.”