We had the good fortune of connecting with Joy Tirade and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joy, why did you pursue a creative career?
My first introduction to Fine Art was in Houston. It was the year 2001, and I was visiting a friend’s family for the holidays. I went to the Museum of Fine Arts and encountered the James Turrell piece, “The Light Inside.” I stood inside the installation for a very long time and watched the light change from magenta, to violet, to blue. This magical light seemed to match my heartbeat and breath. I became obsessed with art after that moment. It was like falling in love for the first time. After this art encounter in Texas, I became a self-taught painter until I applied to and was accepted to college to study art. I received my BA in Studio Art and Art History from the University of Virginia. After this, I pursued my MFA at UNC-Chapel Hill. In graduate school for my MFA, I began to make experimental digital work and video. Now my practice is a combination of abstract painting, experimental video, intermedia, and installation.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My practice operates at the nexus of experimental video, abstract painting, intermedia, and light installation. In my work and my research, I create connections between phenomenology, technology, ecology, and feminist theory to explore the aspects and qualities of human emotion, especially love and longing. In my visual arts practice and scholarship, I contribute to the discussion of contemporary art by expanding the field of painting to include intermedia work: experimental video, light installation, and lens-based art. In contrast to the notion that light is a property typically assigned to photography, my research considers the ways the category of contemporary painting expands to include sculptural light installation, immersive video, and digital projection. In my recent work, I consider the material and conceptual qualities of light, color, and time and how these qualities can interact with historical and traditional materials of painting. I am very interested in how shifts between medium-specific practices and between mediums take place and how these discrete mediums might interact. I am stoked about a few things right now in my studio! The first thing is I am working on a larger project called Implied and Actual Light, which will be a painting and video installation. I am collaborating on an interactive video that utilizes python coding to make the pieces interactive. This part is still top-secret while I work on it. This project, Implied and Actual Light, considers the relationship of space, time, and technology to the metaphysics of human love and longing. This work is currently in its research phase and making painting studies on paper. I am examining philosophical theories of space and time and relating these theories to my questions about the material and ontological qualities of my paintings as they stretch to include experimental, color-field, video work. In this body of work, I am also considering themes of time-travel, cyber-feminism, theories of possible worlds, love, and gender. My second project is a 100 Days Project where I am painting 100 Paintings in 100 Days — this work is chronicled on my Instagram account to keep me accountable and to share this journey with others. I plan to archive this project on my website as soon as I finish but, in the meantime, you can view it online at @joytirade
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would bring my best friend to every museum in town! We would have a week of visiting LACMA, The Getty, Hammer Museum, and The Broad. I like to ask people I bump into at the museum where I should grab a drink afterward. This way is a more spontaneous way to enjoy the city. I like to float around a city whenever I am with friends and not use a schedule. I am an air sign, so this is probably the reason.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would have to give a shoutout to my incredibly supportive painting collective community! After moving my household and studio to Oakland, California, I felt I needed more artistic community. I founded Community Painting Collective in July 2020 during the pandemic – we only meet online. We are a growing collective of painters who meet twice-a-month to talk about art and life. This group has given me so much inspiration during these isolating times. We are on Instagram @community.painting.club
for installation images – photography credit Lindsay Metivier @lindsaymetivier