Today we’d like to introduce you to Joshua Beliso.
Joshua, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was brought up as a typical beach kid in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Outside of school I did the same as every other kid around the area; skated, surfed, hung out. It wasn’t really until I graduated High School and started Santa Monica College that I really got to know myself. Up until that point, I was just some crazy-eyed adolescent with a firm stance against authority who smoked to much pot. At SMC I studied all sorts of stuff and really thought I was going to be a biologist or some sort of scientist. I tried my hand at astrology, anthropology, and psychology. A lot of “ology’s.” It wasn’t long until I found myself taking a lot of art courses, especially in sculpture classes.
I started in clay, then stone, and glass. Basically, I took all the sculpture classes I could take, and I took them all at least three times or as many times as they’d let me. It soon -\became clear to me after that point that I needed to switch directions. So I transferred to Otis College of Art and Design and just went to it. After graduation, I was recruited by another South Bay artist Doug Aitken and worked for him about six months or so as a studio assistant. After that the struggle got real. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot from Doug about how a high profile artist exists and can run a multi-faceted studio operation. Still, job after job, I couldn’t really get a firm grip on anything I went after, and fast forward a few years later I found myself stuck. I was still working a lot on my practice but didn’t know what to do with it. Only now I had a child and another life to provide for, this is when things got really heavy, to say the least. So I took a leap of faith and got myself into Grad school at USC Roski School of Art and Design. The hustle is still there, but I know what I want now, and I’m ready to give it everything I have.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
This is a tough question. I mean, I know what I do and why, etc…, but I have so many different areas of interest and don’t really know where to begin. For starters, I identify myself as a sculptor, even though I probably paint more than I sculpt. For the sake of space I’ll narrow it down a bit. I focus on what people focus on a lot in my work. Popular styles and trends, glorified to the point of monumental influence, then cut it into permanence. My Wig series, for example, takes a dip into our perpetual obsession with “the do.” My chosen medium for these representational cerebral fizzies is stone. I think it’s important to use a material that has so much history already attached to it.
After all, a stone was used to represent gods and people of importance throughout the ages. So what’s important now? The idea of identity and ones self-has taken the lead and is in many ways, the new god. With selfie culture booming and the endless time spent on our own self-representation, be it clothes, hair, or a sweet pair of shades, we spend a lot of time devoted to how we present our selves to the world as our audience. We perform, we groom, and carefully manicure our sense of self. That is the language of my art. But it’s not to be taken seriously. It’s a mockery, a joke, an absurdity to see. After all, you can’t even wear them, haha.
What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
Success is different for everyone. Success to me would be to live comfortably. To be able to save up and own a home. To not have to live paycheck to paycheck, to provide for my daughter and give her the opportunities and support to follow her dreams. All through art and the making of art. So in short: success takes patients, determination, and a general “I wont quit” attitude. But hey, I’m not even successful yet so who knows.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can contact me through my website or even Instagram(@color_and_stone) if they want. I show from time to time, so just keep an eye out on my Social media pages. The best way to support an artist is to invest in the artist. Purchase our work, talk to us, and follow us. Get to know the artist as a person. Seriously though, buy the work and don’t expect things for free. This is our business, its how we eat and support our loved ones.
- Website: www.joshbeliso.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @color_and_stone