Beyond describing his method of painting, Joseph Bixler seems reluctant to speak too freely about his work. "I have come to believe that words very often stand between the viewer and what is there to be seen. It seems to me that the eye alone, informed by our own instincts and experience, allows us to engage and understand creative work."
What of the search for meaning and beauty? "Those are entirely personal notions and not subject to any universal criteria. It's pointless to search for meaning in someone else's analysis of a creative work, or for beauty in their opinion of it. The true pleasure of art is, I believe, often greatly diminished in that way."
Influences? "Really too numerous to mention. There is so much art that I love and admire, from every age and of every style. I've spent a lifetime looking at art all over the world, and that exposure has certainly influenced what I do, although I can't say precisely how."
The paintings. "I can only say that they evolve from a sort of internal program, which seems to guide the entire process. Although often changing noticeably along the way, the paintings originate from my drawings, which develop gradually from spontaneous sketches. These are products of my imagination, and to that extent are highly personal. Even so, I make every attempt to allow the images to emerge freely, unburdened by too much 'meaning'. The compositions which finally do result are not always meant to teach a lesson or tell a story, least of all my story, but they do perhaps have a tale to tell. Each viewer will decide what that message is, and the pictures, as always, will speak most eloquently for themselves."
Mr. Bixler resides and paints in Los Angeles. He received his formal art training at the Art Institute of Chicago.
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