Paintings Found Through Painting

Joel Adas’ paintings are poetic. Not only in their viscerally evocative lyricism, but in the perfectly intense eloquence of their construction. A riot of emotion and meaning is distilled into a few pure strokes, through a balance of depth and surface, darkness and light. Vivid layers of color and texture sing to you, and as with any good poem, the viewer becomes a part of the process of understanding.

In almost every painting I’ve done over the last seven years, the image I begin with at the outset morphs completely into a new incarnation at completion.  The most important thing for me during the painting process is to stay attentive.  If one avenue of inquiry seems to be going nowhere, a new one may open up with a mark, a smear, a scraping away of paint that reveals under layers that might suggest something new.

Often times the subject suggested by the process is something I would not have thought of consciously.  Sometimes it becomes a more familiar trope. Above all I am looking for something that hums, that has a sort of low burning intensity.  I like the pictures to push and pull at their perimeters, the ghostly presences within them bound in a landscape I could not have imagined when I first began the painting. – Joel Adas

Joel Adas divides his time between Brooklyn and Cape May, NJ. He works in a free-flowing style that relies heavily on improvisation and reacting in the moment to what the image might be or become. Landscape is his favorite genre but people and objects sometimes populate his paintings. Adas is a particularly drawn to coastal and urban areas where there is evidence of decay and of structures once used now defunct. The conjunction of nature and human constructions figures prominently in his work. You can see more of his work at and on Instagram @joelwaves.

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