Biography Joseph Lupo was born in Chicago. He received his BFA from Bradley University and his MFA from the University of Georgia. In 2004 Joseph joined the Division of Art faculty at West Virginia University as the Printmaking Program Coordinator. Since then, Joseph’s work has been a part of over 40 different solo and group exhibitions in 24 states. He has had solo/ two person exhibitions at ARC Gallery, The Contemporary Art Workshop, and Vespine Gallery in Chicago; at 1708 Gallery and Quirk Gallery in Richmond; at Youngblood Gallery in Atlanta; and BH Space 101 in Pittsburgh. His work has also been featured at the International Print Center of New York, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Gallery 312 in Chicago, The Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, The Museum of Fine Arts at Florida State University, The Janet Turner Print Museum at California State University Chico, The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Washington Printmakers Gallery in Washington DC, and Gallery 500 in Portland. Internationally Joseph’s work has appeared at the Naestved Roennebaeksholm Art & Cultural Center in Denmark and at the Dedalo Center for Contemporary Art in Abruzzo, Italy.
From 2005 to 2007 Joseph was a resident faculty at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, New York. He has been a guest lecturer or visiting artist at Penn State University, Morehead State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University, and Bloomsburg University. His work has appeared in numerous publications including The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Portland Tribune, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and Brick Weekly in Richmond. Joseph has also been an artist in residence at Artist Image Resource in Pittsburgh and the Prairie Center of the Arts in Peoria, Illinois. From 2006 to 2008, Joseph served as the Secretary of the Southern Graphics Council Executive Board; in 2008 he was elected President. The Southern Graphics Council is the nation’s largest printmaking organization. To learn more about Joseph Lupo and to see examples of his work and students work visit his website at: http://web.mac.com/josephlupo
Artist Statement It’s my intention to make artwork that can be ambiguous and possibly contradictory, instead of didactic and certain. Another important aspect to my artistic practice is the use of familiar imagery. My aim is to create an interactive relationship between the viewer and the work in order to create multiple interpretations, questions, and dialogue. Over the last five years my work has centered around issues of communication and forms of reproduction.
Joseph Lupo Since 2001 I have made artwork that confronts the viewer with reproductions of receipts. Receipts are a form of print that we encounter almost everyday, but that I assume few actually think about in this way. Not only are receipts a mass produced form of print, but there is a large amount of public and private information written on them. In order to bring attention to receipts, I have reproduced every receipt I receive from my regular buying habits in the form of drawings, paintings, prints, or books. It’s my intention to offer the viewer information about myself from text located on receipts in order to create questions about language, consumption, reproduction, receipts, and art. On one level, I believe that this body of work can be seen as a metaphor of the myth of a stable language and a stable self. Each day offers new buying opportunities, and in turn new opportunities to define or redefine the self through commodities. Looking at the work as a whole, many have seen this series as a consumer diary. Lastly, this body of work has opened up new challenges for myself as an artist. I am a student of and a believer in the traditions of hand-made printmaking. It was a struggle, and continues to be a challenge, to try to use these artistic traditions that I respect in a way that mimics mechanical reproduction.
In 2005 I began to address how artists and writers communicate through comics. Comics are another form of everyday printmaking that I believe many of its consumers overlook. One of the major symbols of this type of communication is the thought/talk bubble. This shape includes the majority of the storyline in a given comic book or strip. Comics rely on both text and the graphic image in order to make a storyline move along. I have begun this series of works by concentrating on only the shape of the thought/ talk bubble. Currently, these shapes are taken directly from The Invincible Iron Man comic book, volume 1, number 178 published in 1982. A specific comic book that I have enjoyed since I was a child. The original text and image is removed from these prints in order to de-contextualize the illustration and narrative. Again, I believe that this allows for the most open-ended interpretation of the image. Even when the context of the narrative is reintroduced to the viewer through the title, I still believe this process allows for open interpretation concerning the original and new context of the text and image.