Category Archives: Joshua Petker

Watercolors, Hoodies, and Vids from Joshua Petker

Our good friend in Los Angeles, Joshua Petker, has been up to no good lately. Through his trusty Twitter updates we have learned of recent fashion collaborations and video interviews worth blogging about.

To kick things off, here is a new watercolor from JP. In recent months we have seen an obvious advancement in Joshua’s use of this difficult medium, and we look forward to seeing where he takes them next.

You may have already heard about Joshua’s recent fashion collaboration, Gold vs Petker. Although the line was launched in July with a red carpet/runway event, the clothes just became viewable online. Not only do we love seeing Joshua’s entrancing paintings in a new context; we are attracted to the innovative compositions of these photographs. From the Gold vs Petker Collection:

We hope to see some ladies rocking these leggings at Petker’s next opening.

To conclude this update, we leave you with Hurley Art’s studio visit with Joshua. He discusses the origins of his painting career on video while new works can be seen peeking from the background. We can’t wait to see these in person. Watch the video interview here, or read below for Caroline Ryder’s written interview with the artist.

‘Where Impressionism meets the street’

Josh Petker is an artist tortured by dichotomy. A former graffiti writer who fell in love with the Impressionists, Petker has the eye of a gay haute couturier, but he paints with the loins of a red-blooded Fabio. Here Hurley Art talks to Petker about graffiti, Nirvana (the place, not the band), and sending smiley faces in texts. -Caroline Ryder

HOW DID YOU GET IN TO PAINTING? It started with graffiti. And I got into that in the way many other artists would—its what my friends did. I was never like a famous graffiti guy or anything but I did it a lot and it was all I cared about for years. I didn’t go to art school but I did go to college and I have a degree in Biblical History. At the end of my senior year I went to Italy because I knew some Italian graffiti writers. While I was there I started drawing in the museums and realized how much I love drawing figures. I came back to America wanting to be a fine artist. That was in September 2001.

HOW HAS YOUR TAKE ON ART CHANGED SINCE THEN? When I started getting in to art I was pretty unsophisticated in my artistic interests. I just loved the impressionists, and that was it. All my heroes were from 1850 and prior. I didn’t understand anything besides what was obvious, and the impressionist painters are super easy to understand. I would go to contemporary galleries and see a weird square of wood on a nail and I didn’t get it. Now that’s the stuff I’m actually more into. The abstract stuff.

WHAT SPARKED THE CHANGE? I got into a serious relationship a year ago, I guess that changed my perspective. A lot of the girls I was painting were from that old porn site God’s Girls and they would come over and model, and I would party with those girls. We’re all still in touch but after a while you just want to change things up a little.

THEY ARE VERY FEMININE PAINTINGS. Yes, that actually ties in with my biblical history degree. I am not a religious person at all, I don’t even believe in God, but I studied it because it was fascinating to me. So many religions are based on the duality of the goddess and the god; the male and the female. So many mythologies suggest that the union of the two is what leads you to Nirvana and Enlightment—that’s when all dualities have been merged. So for me, I am a man, and I am a straight man, but I want to make work that is so feminine that it removes a duality.

SO YOU’RE A PRETTY GIRLY DUDE, THEN? Yes. I do smiley faces all the time in text messages.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE, I WONDER WHAT’S COMING NEXT FOR YOU, IN TERMS OF YOUR STYLE. OR EVEN IF, GOD FORBID, YOU BROKE UP WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND. If this relationship ended I would change my name to a symbol and start only painting androgynous people in shades of gray. Maybe.

-Caroline Ryder /Hurley Art

Keep up the good work Joshua!


Gold vs. Petker

Gold Petker fashion collaboration

Joshua Petker‘s paintings ring of high fashion and good taste, so it’s no surprise that he has joined forces with designer, Jared Gold, to produce a unique line. Tonight at Hollywood’s Club Social, a runway show will launch the highly anticipated Gold vs. Petker collaboration. We chatted with Joshua about the project:

“I draw a lot of influence from fashion photography and I’ve always been very interested in fashion design.  When I came across the work of Jared Gold a few years back I felt an immediate connection to his vision and to the world he creates for his runway shows, and realized I needed to reach out to him. Luckily for me he was familiar with my paintings and was immediately interested in combining our visions in some way and we became friends from afar, communicating via email from time to time.

A few years later he and I discussed developing a line, initially of really simple designs, but which has developed into something far beyond my expectations. It is a fascinating experience seeing someone develop a line of clothes based off something I produced on a canvas.  There are butterflies, ribbons, neon acid-washed outfits, and girls with pink hair and yellow and blue eye-shadow.  Jared calls our collaboration a ‘colored-gore-explosion’ and that pretty much sums it up.  I’m excited for the runway show this evening and hopeful everyone enjoys this experiment and the outcome.”

Make Something Pretty While You Can

Joshua Petker is a multifacted guy and it seems like everyone is trying to get into his brain. This is a quote to ponder from his recent chat with 405:

“There’s a Belle and Sebastian lyric where he sings, ‘Make something pretty while you can, don’t fall asleep’ and, that always strikes me as romantic. I don’t believe in God or souls. But I love being alive and am a fan of the universe. I know death is coming but i want to leave a garden of beautiful work in my wake. That’s motivation for inspiration for me.” -Joshua Petker, 405 Interview

Joshua Petker Tells All

SLAMXHYPE is launching a new interview series, and one of the first artists they sought out for answers was Joshua Petker. Each interview with Joshua reveals a more complex artist, and we especially liked his thoughts on Van Gogh:



“The first painting that came to mind and that means a lot to me is Van Gogh’s ‘Wheatfield with Crows’ . . . that painting with its light, bright, beautiful yellow bottom half and the dark heavy blue and black top half, broken in the middle by a jagged road to nowhere is just so serenely calming yet it screams the weight of the world at you as the birds fly up into darkness.

It was the last painting he ever made and it speaks so clearly to me about the wonderful beautiful pain that life can be for some.  I wouldn’t mind looking at that painting every night before bed.” -Joshua Petker, SLAMXHYPE Interview

Archival Footage: Neon Black

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Good old Twitter clued us in to this archival footage of our dear friend, Joshua Petker. March 2008 marked the 5 year anniversary of The Shooting Gallery and the opening of his second solo show with us, “Neon Black.” We value this video for Joshua’s extensive history lesson on how he got so dang good at painting.

Twitpics from Joshua Petker


Joshua Petker is at it again. Although he just concluded a grand solo show at The Shooting Gallery, this determined artist is busy mixing up smoky concoctions in his LA studio. We’ve been following casual preview shots on his Twitter, peeking into experiments with new mediums (such as resin). We can’t wait to see where these experiments land him, with his next solo show hitting Corey Helford Gallery this October.


Joshua Petker’s Opening Reception

The night was a memorable occasion marking the 6 year anniversary of The Shooting Gallery! Check out the pictures of Joshua Petker’s “Water Lilies” opening reception.

Three lovely ladies and a baby


Unicorns and Sharks


John and Josh in front of "River Ophelia"


girls and art

See more pictures on our flickr page here