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Artist Statement

Beholden to Art

I love the act of creation: Drawing with oil pastels and oil paints on cheap paper and cardboard was the first thing I ever did that kept me returning for more; doing somethingthat wasn’t self-destructive. Creating art saved me from myself.


To me, it’s important to leave a mark. That’s what I do, makemarks, leave marks. Every piece is another mark composed of marks in a series of marks. My hope is that a mark or two that stands the test of time--powerful enough to be in a private collection or for public viewing centuries from now. I work to create powerful art; I ache to create such work.


I’m self-taught. I haven’t a MFA or Art History degree, but claim great artists past and present as my mentors: Picasso, Klee, Kandinsky, Matisse, van Gogh, Basquiat, and legions of others.


In the past I was inspired to mimic or recreate works by my mentors. No longer. I now reach deep within for inspiration. My intention is to leave a singular mark; even my decorative works arise from original concepts to complement a couch or match a wall color. I’m okay with that. It’s all part of my art.


I’m done talking. I’ll move aside and let the pieces speak for themselves. I hope you like what they say.


--Joe Kiefer, May, 2022

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