Tag Archives: Los Angeles artist

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!