Joel Richardson began his career as a portrait painter. His early work demonstrated a fascination with the fusing of extremes in ideas and techniques, all of this in an attempt to expand traditional portraiture into the realm of social documentation.
Fueled in part by creative expeditions across the globe the move into film was a natural evolution for Joel. His early documentation through portraiture grew into his own unique form of gonzo documentary filmmaking. He has directed several short films including the short Germinio Pio Politi: A Documentary Portrait airing on Bravo Television, Bold and the Documentary Channel.
Partnering now with GUERILLA FILMS founder James Motluk, he is completing post-production on CONVERSATIONS TO MARRAKECH, a road movie about finance. Joel will also be completing this summer his large mural on both sides of a Toronto underpass.
In the words of Joel himself:
I was born In Canada in1971 and grew up in the small town of Owen Sound. From my early years playing in the forests and canoeing with my father I loved exploring the world. This spirit of exploration lead me to begin travelling on my own at the age of 17.
In 1991, in the Israeli Negev desert I began to paint. For the remainder of that decade I would flee the economic struggles I was facing as a young artist by travelling to paint in Kenya, Guatemala, Nepal, the West Indies, and Europe, as well as urban wilderness locations across North America. These experiences would supply me with a wealth of imagery and ideas that would have a huge impact on my art.
Moving parallel to these thematic explorations was an ever-increasing embrace of new technologies. As my work moved further and further from portraiture, bringing in influences from around the world, I began to epxlore the possibilities brought on by the proliferation of digital technologies. My early use of photography in portatis had lead me to begin ditigizing and manipulating images and then placeing them into my paintings. Already using photography as a tool, I began to use small format film and digitial video cameras to document my adventures. By teh late 1990s I was combining video installation into the exhibition of my mixed media paintings.
By the turn of the millennium my work had become truly multidisciplinary, with the intent of dominating the spaces they occupied. Featuring paintings, sculptures, installation and video components my work has come to reflect the diverse concepts that have inspired my work.