Mario Joyce is a self-taught African-American ar6st based in Los Angeles. His process began early and was heavily influenced by prejudices experienced growing up Black and Queer in rural Ohio. He uses genealogical research, soil from South West Ohio, carefully sourced vintage collage materials and oil paint to explore how American History is steeped in selective storytelling that neglects to share the experiences of marginalized communities. Mario has recently completed Pratt>FORWARD residency at New Lab in Brooklyn Navy Yard and exhibited with UTA Artspace in Atlanta . His work is privately owned by collectors throughout the United States and abroad
Paralleling my experiences as a Queer, Black boy growing up in rural Ohio to those of my direct male ancestors is integral in my practice. I begin with genealogical research, collecting stories and supporting these narratives with primary records. I then source vintage collage images from used books printed between 1965-1999, specifically nodding to my grandfathers’ generation and my earliest memories of them. These vintage images are of natural scenes and elements, space, stars and mysterious heavenly bodies. I compile them within the Black male figure on canvas. These figures are avatars of me, meant to represent specific male ancestors. Then, using a thick impasto technique with oil paint, I recreate scenes from my childhood farm. In the surrounding fields and forests there was solace from constant racial and homophobic attacks. Connecting to my ancestors in these fields, they guided and strengthened me from a very early age. If they could survive the impossible, surely I could tap that very strength, which must still exist in my veins. This enters my practice through varying brushstrokes that speak like a language or a script. Using old brushes, the movement of paint across the canvas retells chosen narratives continuously in my mind. Recently, soil collected from my childhood farm has been included in the paint to further connect to the space and, in a way, record all that it has witnessed. Within this investigative process, it is possible to find new ways of healing my own generational and personal trauma.
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