Joseph Loughborough (b. 1981) spent his formative years exploring the derelict boatyards and creeks of Portsmouth, on the south coast of the UK. After graduating from Portsmouth University he pursued interests in art, philosophy and skateboarding culture, living in London, Paris and currently Berlin. Honesty, expressionism and possibly exorcism can be read from Loughborough’s impulsive and intuitive rapid-fire mark making, which strive to grasp a comprehension of the human condition. Drawing inspiration from various themes concerned with Camus/Kierkegaard's notion of ‘Absurdity’. Each drawing becomes story pursuing a standing point within the concept. Lonely human forms seem to struggle and ponder the sporadically lit space they occupy without reaching the point of a dramatic emotional encounter. Couples and groups of people cling together searching for an antidote to the revelations of their existence. Personifications of latent hopes and emotions wait in vain to be realized. No specific conclusions can be made to the meaning of the individual works aside from the acknowledgement and indulgence of image, expression and technique. This reflects absurdity’s philosophical model of observing our potentially meaningless existence without the sterilisation of Nihilism. The irony of religious motifs act to enhance the awkward balance between secularism and religious hope that the characters depicted seem to grapple with. Questions are frequently asked of the viewer about how we interpret our oft-untold fears and desires.
Hello dear Joseph, please, tell us how did you find the artist inside you?
The artist inside was never really that hidden away. I have been scribbling for as long as I can remember.
How long have you been doing art?
Approximatly 34 years.
Is art something that you always wanted to do?
I was keen to be a special effects makeup artist once. Blood n guts n zombies...
What was / is your major influences? Other artists, books, movies, music or any other media....What inspires you to create your artworks?
The Human condition.
How does "a normal day of artist" in your life look like?
A long morning coffee at one of my locals, then the studio. If its winter or rainy I will work until the evening. If the weather permits, I will go skate. Then perhaps a drink...
What’s your background? Are you self-taught artist or did you study art?
I grew up in Gosport in the south of the UK and moved to Portsmouth (On the otherside of the harbour) to study illustration.
Do you think an art education is important or imperitive for anybody wishing to be an artist? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you have encountered throughout your career with/without the formal training of the Art Academy?
For me, the most important thing about University was meeting other artists and developing and staying in the habit of daily creativity. If I could say thats worth the hefty tuition fee? I'm not sure. Perhaps I was already a sociable person who would have maintained a creative rythm.
What fascinates you the most about contemporary art?
Its probably that its spectators can have such fantastically different perceptions and tastes towards its various faculties. I do love a good art argument.
How would you describe your style?
How about 'Post symbolic-neo-expressionism' or we could go for 'Contemporaryfigurativeurbangothkitch' hehe
What do you love most about creating and being an artist?
Seeing work change and materialze into somthing your satisfied with from little scraps of the imagination. And not having to get up too early in the morning...
What does “being creative” mean to you?
It means an ACTIVE participation in the translation of ideas, emotions or situations into a chosen disipline.
Can you describe your typical workflow when you’re working on your art? What are your tools of trade? What medium do you most often use and why?
At the moment its a pretty simple line up of Charcoal, paper and an eraser, with a bit of gold leaf... Charcoal has always been a very immediate medium. I like to work fast and vigioursly, if a piece takes too long it stagnates. I often have a few pieces on the go at once so when I get bored of one or need somthing to dry I can swap over. On a good day, I start as many pieces as possible...thats usually the hardest part.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
Tell us more about your workspace. What was the most funny or weird thing that happened to you in your studio?
Its in an old tenement block round the back of Kotti in Berlin. Not much natural light but a nice bit of space for a good price in that area. The bloke who lives upstairs from my studio quite often pisses in the hallway and passes out along the way. A bit of an alchy.
What is / was the most strange thing hidding in your studio?
Well I used to live in my studios and I would always have a machete under the bed. For unwanted visitors...
What toughest challenges have you faced as an artist during your art career? What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
Haha where do I start...if there is anything I have leaned it's that self motivation and persistence is an important part of being an artist. Especially when that natural creative inspiration is difficult to find.
What’s the best and worst advice you ever received in your art career?
A shark once told me to be aware of sharks.
What do you dislike about the art world?
What is the hardest thing on being an artist?
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I wouldn‘t say its lonely, I guess it depends on how many people you have around when you work. My studio has just one other artist working there so I have the place to myself alot of the time. If I want company its never far away...
Where do you see yourself in the future? Professionally, what’s your goal?
Artistically I want to be able to devote more time into sculpture and oils, professionally, to develop relationships with more galleries’ outside of Europe.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others? Maybe advice for beginning artists out there?
As I said before, persistence. Stick with it and try to work every day even if it's a just a sketch or some constructive exploration.
Your favorite art or life quote is ...
I have always been fond of Picassos 'inspiration exist's but it has to find you working.' ...or the is always 'Don't piss into the Wind.'
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?
Skateboarding, Collecting books and reading, chess, drinking.
Do you have an online portfolio, blog or social medias where we can view your work?
Instagram seems to have most relevance at the moment and my website.
Is there anything else you’d like to say? Is there any project you are working on right now or any ongoing event or exhibition you would like to share with our readers?
Rumours of a new london show - subscribe to the newsletter for the latest update :)
Thank you dear Joseph, it was a honor to interview you, I wish you only the best for you and your art and already looking forward to see your new art works :)