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Art & Life with Joerael Elliott

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joerael Elliott.

Joerael, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Born in San Angelo, Texas (1980) I am a narrative artist with a focus on creating complex figurative works. In my figurative works I focus on the subtle body, psychological imprint and the metabolic hum. My figures I weave current and historical content pertaining to social justice, to Earth’s environment, and that of the sacred. My works range from small scale mixed media drawings and paintings to large murals. I have developed a visual and conceptual vocabulary from my direct experience as a yoga practitioner/teacher, activist, traveler, graffiti writer, street artist and as a Texan. My intentions as a narrative artist and a teacher of Yoga is to create non-reductive works that cultivate a contemplative space of liberty through living symbolism and the creative unconscious.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
In my work I explore complex visual narratives from my direct experiences. The stories I render come from my background as a graffiti writer, street artist, activist, and Yoga practitioner. I carefully combine various forms of symbolism in my work sampled from the likes of graffiti culture to First Nations people in order to enhance the narrative structures I create. The visual narratives I compose are mental models rooted in social Justice, organic rebellion, Earth’s environment, and that of the sacred. It is my intention to cultivate an awareness of complex issues that are depleting our planet’s health and the collective health of humanity.

I am also the founder of a project called Mobilize Walls where I am attempting to out-art/ out-scale the proposed trump wall. This will be done by creating a decentralized network of murals that act as a petition of scale. The Mobilized Wall will be opposite of the Trump wall being decentralized, transformative, inclusive, healing and truly beautiful. I would love to paint most of these works in my home state of Texas. Anyone have walls?

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
The biggest challenge in my experience is a culture of dismissiveness to the creative class. We are often not taken seriously and have been stereotyped as lazy, flaky, druggies etc. The truth is opposite actually real artists are some of the most hard-working people I know that innately work without pay, health insurance and in a culture of dismissiveness. A programmer or banker theoretically would never be able to function in this type of environment away from security or the unknown. I believe that the biggest challenge is to create a counter culture where artist and our work is taken seriously and is valued more in our society. For instance, one could say it would be of more value to go into community to an art opening around border issues where important discussions are being transformed rather than binging a show on Netflix that does not really improve your life or the current state of the world.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can view my work at www.joerael.com or visit my IG @joerael_gangthewolf. The best way you can support my work is to commission a mural from me or commission an original piece of art. Please email me with questions at joerael.art@gmail.com

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Seth Jacob

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