Joel Addis

Life Dates
b. 1976
GVSU Alumni Status
Alumnus, 2005
Artist Biography
Artist StatementMyself: I am a professional observer. As an artist in the 21st century, it is vitally important to have a multi-disciplinary education, to be able to draw upon a wide rage of ideas form a number or unrelated sources. My background has given me a panoptic view of society and its inner workings. Unlike monks or hermits who sequester themselves in pious contemplation, I have tried to immerse myself into as many facets of society as possible. It is much easier to observe a society from its periphery than it is to be an active participant. However, in order to understand that society one must be a participant. I want to understand all aspects of the human experience. I want to see through the eyes of everyone. My Work: I make work that comments on social and psychological inhibitions. I am interested in the disparity between human potential and human action. As I stated earlier, I am a professional observer. In my observations I rarely find people utilizing all their talents, realizing a tenth of their potential, or recognizing their own beauty. Likewise, I rarely observe people recognizing the talent, potential, and beauty in others. I see an entire society perpetuation generations of fatalism and skepticism. This behavior is inherently self-defeating. I want my work to communicate that fact to the viewer in order to change this destructive thinking. Skeletons: I represent specific acts of ironic self-defeat through the use of malformed or mutated skeletons. As well as being an icon of death, a skeleton is the basic structure of an organism; its most rudimentary form. It is the structure through which we determine its function and capability. Each of my skeletons has an exaggerated body part, each part amplifying a specific trait to which it excels. However, despite its apparent capability, I have placed them in situations that negate their potential. For example, Homo Instabilicus, a man with extraordinary long legs would be a man of great stature were he only to stand up; Homo Introspecticus, could utilize his enormously long neck to survey his terrain and generate numerous insights into his future if he were only to stop examining himself. In doing this, I would like the viewer to realize their own strengths and recognize that in many ways they are negating those strengths. I want to encourage them to dismiss their self-doubt and simply be what they are capable of being.