Joel Ross

STOP FUCKING AROUND

2016
acrylic paint on wood
61 x 49 x 7 inches

We survive the day, and then we sit around telling stories about it. It is how we make sense of the world. It is how we arrive at the truth. – Joel Ross

For over two decades, Texas-born artist Joel Ross has been consistently fascinated by two things: language and the homemade, ad-hoc signage that characterizes American roadside culture. In earlier work, he created his own versions of these signs, installing them along roads and photographing them. In a recent body of work, the text appears in painting form in muted colors. Here, the aggressive, yet motivating, message is subverted by the all-white palette. For Ross, this effect is meant to conjure weathered signs, faded by sun and rain. And though the language is blunt, Ross’ work is a surprisingly beautiful meditation on life, struggle, and the need to express oneself. Ross’ work has been shown throughout the US and Europe, and his first survey exhibition, Deconstructing the American Landscape, was organized by The Rockford Art Museum in 2016.

estimated retail value: $10,000
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