Jim Joe
January 2014




January 01 – January 31, 2014

The Hole is proud to announce the first full solo show in the gallery by artist JIM JOE, entitled JANUARY 2014.

The show will be open to the public regular hours beginning January 1st from 12-7pm; however, the exhibition will expand one day at a time in a line around the gallery, and will culminate in the closing party on January 31st. The show’s title and presentation are engaged with the rigidity of the calendar month and the flexibility of images and motifs.

JIM JOE has existed in New York City for five years now, an omnipresent non-issue in the public domain. His/her presence in the street is created with spray paint and markers on public and private surfaces, but unlike traditional graffiti is both highly legible and deals with a broad swath of content. Urgent remarks, sentences abstracted awkwardly or displaced song lyrics accompany his/her tags. The content of these public missives maintain punctilious manners and frequently beg assistance from the chance passerby.  And perhaps partly due to their illegal nature, they suggest a writer who has his eye on the clock, whether literally or figuratively.

In the last two years JIM JOE has shown here in New York City and Paris and Toronto, “artworks” in “galleries” but always questioning and pushing up against those words. The street activity and the gallery artworks come from the same place, which is not necessarily “him/her”, per se, because JIM JOE is not a real person of course, but rather a world within a world, an idea that has its own influences, concerns, approaches and responses, but is not tied to a biographical back story of a unique author. Art audiences may have questioned the idea of lone genius authorship but they still love a good backstory, an emerging artist who can be explained in a few sentences by his or her birthplace, upbringing, school record or lifestyle. JIM JOE did not grow up in a cult and discover fly-fishing as a way out of that restrictive life and thus makes sculptures out of fishing lures. We don’t need to fuss over any of that nonsense because he is not a he or a she, or anyone.

This is JIM JOE’s entry point into graffiti: a tag is a tag. It is a name, but is not a person; the tag and the persona tied to it have their own life, suggested by the spray paint and the subsequent implication of bravery or danger or rudeness or respect. The anonymity and illegality of graffiti was an ideal environment to create this non-person and is where this non-person “began.”

JIM JOE is a concept or idea that has taken on its own set of tendencies and emotions as it has grown and evolved and migrated across media and time. JIM JOE relates to the logic of advertising in the tangential way that graffiti might, but he negates this way of communicating images because, despite our gallery selling the works, JIM JOE is actually not trying to sell you anything.


Both the content of his work and the structure of this particular calendric show seek to question and subvert the knee-jerk expectations placed on both artist and gallery, in the same way he/she questioned what graffiti could be. JIM JOE makes paintings that embrace traditional media but then inverts them, using marks to erase a surface that simultaneously make a figure. Prefab art history stamps are used to make a work on paper, symbols are ordered illogically or rendered crudely to look at the shapes that make the symbol. From crap dragged in off the street to fine raw linens and oil sticks, the works in the exhibition will appear sequentially but not necessarily create narrative or even relationships. They will act upon themselves, one after the other, in a way that denies even the artist the full spectrum of the show until it is completed on the last day of the month.

JIM JOE is reluctant to let us compose a press release, as he/she prefers to avoid the flattening of explanation, much as a poet would cringe to see their poem parsed analytically. JIM JOE has always written in a poetic way and existed in the realm of poetry, perhaps even more so than the realm of art. By insisting on the polyvalence of a world of imagery and material, JIM JOE finds power in the abandonment of signification.

More information from the artist is available at www.jimjoewebsite.com

For information on available works please email krysta@theholenyc.com



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