Joshua Elias grew up in a home that was consistently flooded with art and creativity. Attached to his home was his mother’s studio where his love for creating manifested. As early as age 6, Elias’s exposure to prestigious art shows and galleries consumed his weekends, and his trips to old town Chicago with his mother became not only an inspirational hobby, but unknowingly at the time, a prerequisite for his future career as a professional artist.
Joshua Elias is an abstract artist who’s known for his expressively mediated act of painting. His work radiates with poetic tenor and a natural connection between light, color and the worlds that are crafted when the two collide. Elias’s optimism centers around beauty and the subtle harmonies that make everything possible.
“It’s underneath the world and also underneath my paintings. I work in opposites a lot to help create a kind of friction so that beauty could stream through the canvas like shafts of lights.” -JE
How would you describe your art? What messages do you hope your art brings to people?
JE: I would describe it as ‘spiritual abstractions.’ My work is lyrical and I strive to tell a story with my pieces. I very much believe that art can be at its best when it causes an uplifting reaction. The message is a connection that provides a vibration of beauty and a positive change in the life of the viewer. Art is an experience and experiences end with reaction. They might not even love the painting, and that’s okay, but the importance lies in a connect with it.
You use an interesting medium. Can you tell me a little about that?
JE: I’m a bit of an alchemist when it comes to the mediums I use. I make my own paint. Working mostly with oil and dry pigments, I use a Glass Mueller where I grind up the pigments and mix them with the linseed oil. There are many different recipes and techniques I use to produce various kinds of paint, which all eventually land on panel supported linen or canvas.
Your studio is at the Art Brewery in Los Angeles. Has that environment influenced your work in any way?
JE: I don’t necessarily paint with beer if that’s what you’re asking. (Elias laughs) If you stay at the Brewery long enough, your favorite color becomes rust, which is a beautiful color to me and works wonderfully with deep blues. There’s a lot of scrap metal around here and it’s very structural, yet has the beauty of decay. Those unique aesthetics are influential. My high ceilings allow me to paint more physically large than in a smaller space that’s more delicate. I can paint on the wall and on the concrete floors, and this freedom of physicality is something I really enjoy.
Can you tell me a little bit about your involvement with Art in the Arthouse and how other artists can get involved?
JE: Marc Horwitz, Greg Lamemmle and I, we developed Art of the Arthouse which creates artistic spaces within various theatres, like the Pasadena Playhouse and the Royal Theatre, amongst others. As the curator, I have the artists send me some images of their work, but for us to show it, it must be 2D. Art in the Arthouse promises to deliver a unique and alternative art viewing experience, even more than art galleries. We’re about great exposure of creative art and the artists, as well as creating a deeper connection between fine art and fine cinema. So far, we’ve curated about a dozen exhibitions and it’s been such a great success promoting these talented artists. Anyone can apply, but we like to support local artists in particular. We are currently looking for artists in the Pomona Valley.
Are you currently working on anything?
JE: I’m currently working on a series titled “Floating Cities”. I’ve always been interested in landscapes, but also am a firm believer in personal architecture. I combine the two and paint these individual worlds. I have visions of imagined cities, and while still abstract, each piece is uniquely concrete.
You can keep up with artist Joshua Elias by visiting his website