Joshua Oliveira is an American painter, a pioneer of live art in the nightlife scene and developer of Urban Surrealism. “To the degree one ceases to rely on the conscious mind and allow the super conscious to flow through, is to the degree one will draw closer to artistic perfection.”
This quote sums up the creative process of Oliveira, something that does not often resonate in a world that seeks tags, terms and boxes to reduce the unknown into the safe realm of rationality.
“I wish others to embrace the irrational rather than be frightened by it. Painting something everyone can understand is what frightens me, the mechanics of re-creating what already exists defeats progress and my vocation as an artist.”
Joshua is the first born son of two Portuguese Immigrants who left the Acores in search for the American dream in their teen years. After a near death experience at 6 from a severe facial electrocution, the fascination with the afterlife was born.
Graffiti , the public school system and Bob Ross was Joshua’s only formal art training. 80’s graffiti aesthetics coupled with Surrealisms constant demand for a new visual paradigm, have both become hallmarks of Oliveira’s Urban Surrealism works.
“Out of a place of sanity, nothing new is born”
Intrigued by the unexplainable peace exuding from the local Franciscan Monks, Joshua eventually left everything behind to chase after it. Leaving his girlfriend, family, boxing career and bank account behind to enter the primal austere order of the FFL.
Owning absolutely nothing produced the happiest three years of his life until an unexplained illness left him in his cell for a year. With no signs of progress, he was asked to leave by his superiors, forcing him to search for a new path in his twenties.Choosing to pursue a degree in Fine Art, he was denied by the university representative, which claimed he would not make any money with art. He reluctantly studied Graphic design instead, which he later left from boredom.
At the age of 24, Joshua encountered a run in with the law that narrowly left him escaping incarceration. It was during this time he returned to the art of his youth for redemption. A year went by and the early stages of painting on canvas had begun. The young creator turned his life around and embarked on his journey as a Live Artist, just before the dawn of social media. Establishing live art in the nightlife scene with over 400+ performances in the last decade, nationally and internationally.
“Typically people do not buy art they cannot understand, however I still don’t understand most of what I create. I cannot explain with reason something created with emotion and feeling, they are two separate languages to me.”
Today Oliveira and his partners have opened a gallery in New England and on his second location in South Florida with plans for Wynwood in 2018. The re-occurring injury to his left paint hand has decreased the output of his original paintings to approximately a dozen a year. The Surreal Collection Clothing line and the End of Prohibition Rolling Papers both launched in 2017 after his sold out show in Denmark.
While Hollywood’s influence on the masses is diminishing, Joe Rogan stands to be the archetype of the new celebrity. His views have greatly influenced Oliveira. The painting titled “The Eye that Saw Black and White” now hangs in Joe’s studio where he hosts the Joe Rogan Experience.
The act of exploring possibility, the process of feeling connected to All That Is, during painting, has always been more important to Joshua than the exhibition and aftermath of his finished pieces. “A finished work of art is simply a photograph of a single dance that took place between the artist and infinite possibility.”
Oliveira is currently working on a visually and conceptually different body of work over the last 7 months called Esoteric Expressionism that as of this time he has kept from the public.