Joshua Miels is a contemporary portrait artist who looks to capture the vulnerability of people and the emotions that people try to hide from others. Spending countless hours adding layer upon layer of paint Joshua produces artworks that are not only striking, but deep and powerful. Painted predominantly with oil paint, each piece begins with a subject, but with a large amount of experimentation, each art piece takes on its own journey from start to finish. The pieces challenge viewers to draw upon their own emotions and personal experiences.
In Two Minds - Exhibition
Joshua Miels Solo Exhibition In Two Minds explores the emotional state of mind we attempt to shield from society, and how a face is often a façade.
For one to truly understand what someone is going through can prove to be a difficult task. When we look at someone we believe we can read their inner emotions. A face can express an array of feelings from happiness to sadness - we can appear composed in the toughest of situations if we wear the right mask. In Two Minds deals with the actions and emotion we portray to mask inner turmoil and emotional hardship.
People give false fronts, to give the illusion that they are fine. This is particularly true with males. Men are still being asked to live up to old fashioned expectations – be strong, be brave, be protective. Many of these things may be unattainable for individuals and this can be particularly emotionally damaging. As the poet E. E. Cummings wrote, “The greatest battle we face as human beings is the battle to protect our true selves from the self the world wants us to be.” We all portray and mask emotions in various ways, on the assumption that we are being judged on face value.
I look to challenge this assumption. Through my portraits I aim to express the ambiguity of psychical emotion by limiting what feelings my subjects portray. These large-scale paintings of males, most of who I know personally appear somewhat nonchalant. Unable to immediately relate with direct human emotions, viewers look past what they see at face-value, prompting people to question the real individual.
As a male with a family history of anxiety, addiction and depression I have witnessed first-hand how people can fool even those closest to them. They are torn between two-minds – one is the real-self and the other the way society wants us to be. Choosing which state of mind to be in can be a difficult task.