Jo Fish Stretches the Body’s Athletic Potential

The Michigan-born artist’s De Kooning–like collages entangle anthropomorphic forms within chaotic layers of haphazard objects and brushstrokes, twisting and contorting our idea of perspective into surrealist territory.

Here, we ask an artist to frame the essential details behind one of their latest works.

Bio: Jo Fish, 26, New York (@jo___fish)

Title of work: If Ouch Only Hurt Once (2023). 

Where to see it: “Breaking Concrete” at Galerie Ketabi Bourdet (22 Pass. Dauphine, Paris) until May 20.

Three words to describe it: Ouch, accept, move on.

What was on your mind at the time: Simply working as hard as I could to execute a painting that was the best I could do thematically and technically. I tend to do most of my thinking beforehand. When I paint, it’s more fluid and lucid thought.

An interesting feature that’s not immediately noticeable: The pencil mark that the pencil is “drawing” by itself.

How it reflects your practice as a whole: This work effectively encompasses the technique of my practice: contrasting moments of sharply rendered areas and forms juxtaposed with more painterly gestures. This juxtaposition is not only represented in technique but also thematically by using expressionism. Another artistic movement driving my practice is surrealism. I enjoy placing the figure in relation to different objects that may not fit together in reality, but when sharing a canvas they begin to create interesting and unexpected relationships and meanings.

One song that captures its essence: “London Thunder” by Foals and “Run Honey Run” by Morcheeba.

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