Paintings from Look Means Memorize (installation view at The Hole, NY)
Jim Joe is an enigmatic, New York based artist best known for his street art. Joe’s works have been appearing on buildings, sidewalks, and street detritus for years, usually in the form of the artist’s name and some esoteric, pseudo-poetic text in a simple, all-caps scrawl.
A painting from Look Means Memorize (installation view at The Hole, NY)
I like the minimalist simplicity of Joe’s aesthetic. With all other compositional and visual characteristics pared away, the works force the viewer to focus mainly on the meaning of the text -- it’s something like the works of Jenny Holzer, but with a lower production value making them slightly more accessible. Joe’s text is often humorous, and that humour is sometimes taken at face value, while at other times it hints at a deeper, more topical interpretation.
Despite the air of mystery that surrounds Joe’s identity, the artist has managed to produce several prestigious collaborations and gallery shows, including solo shows in New York, Toronto, and Paris.