Outdistancing the Audience by Joseph Duraj

Curator’s Statement

Joseph Duraj seems to make art coming out of a place from deep within his soul.  Perhaps this Dada like subconscious reaction blended with an unedited impromptu application results in fresh playful pieces.  Though playful, Joseph’s art encourages the viewer to analyze and look into the meaning of the symbolism found in his work.

He employs pattern and images to make art that dances with a carefree façade that only partially masks a deeper more serious psychological meaning.

Artist Statement

So, I’ve been struggling to find a subject matter that relates to, or even exists in everyday life, and I let myself down every time I try.  I don’t really know the reason for this phase I’m in, but more and more, I find that I just don’t relate to many of those who inhabit my age group.  I’m uninterested in what’s trending, the maker of your jeans, sunglasses, or shoe laces; I’m also highly skeptical about my peers’ claims of genius and creating masterpiece artwork by the age of 23!  Bullshit.  Where’s the doubt anymore?  Where’s that lingering sensation one feels when they think they may be creating garbage?  Does that still exist?  I sure feel it, and I make it too, no lying here.  That thing is hardly spoken.  Instead it seems to be replaced with sugary euphemisms coated with forced optimism.  So, this puts me at odds with contemporary artists’ claim that beauty lies everywhere.  Where’s everywhere?  All I see are cellphones and cigarette butts.
Looking toward nature, of course the beauty is inherent, but right now I long for something more.  And I can only think of one sort of place that fits that description: that muddy, somewhat disgusting, and if-you-dig-deep-enough place.  The hidden side of yourself.  The YOU that’s speaking in hyper-speed while engaging in conversation with another, but does not speak aloud out of courtesy.  That’s where I want to go.
Beginning, Middle, and End (1)
acrylic, spray paint, and household acrylic latex on canvas
25″ x 25″
Beginning, Middle, and End (2)
enamel, and household acrylic latex on canvas
25″ x 25″
Beginning, Middle, and End (3)
enamel and household acrylic latex on canvas
25″ x 25″
 $240. total for above three paintings (sold as triptych)
acrylic, household enamel on a bed sheet
34 1/2″ x 42 1/2″
household acrylic latex, oil, and household enamel on slab of plywood
17 3/4″ x 48 3/8″
acrylic, household enamel, and plastic on  slab of drywall
30″ x 40″
This One and That One
household acrylic latex and enamel on canvas
43 3/4 x 66 inches
Whistler’s Mother
household enamel, acrylic, ink and graphite on slab of wood
27″ x 42 1/4″