Joshua Miels solo exhibition ‘Inner Thoughts’ is the continual exploration of the emotional state of mind we attempt to shield from society, and how a face is often a façade.
“For one to truly understand what someone is going through can prove to be a difficult task. When we look at someone we believe we can read their inner emotions. A face can express an array of feelings from happiness to sadness - we can appear composed in the toughest of situations if we wear the right mask. ‘In Two Minds’ (Miel’s previous show) also dealt with the actions and emotion we portray to mask inner turmoil and emotional hardship.
People give false fronts, to give the illusion that they are fine. This is particularly true with males. Men are still being asked to live up to old fashioned expectations – be strong, be brave, be protective.
I look to challenge this assumption. Through my portraits I aim to express the ambiguity of physical emotion by limiting what feelings my subjects portray. These large-scale paintings of males, most of who I know personally appear somewhat nonchalant. Unable to immediately relate with direct human emotions, viewers look past what they see at face-value, prompting people to question the real individual.
Joshua Miels is a contemporary artist who was born in Adelaide, Australia in 1982. His artwork aims to capture the vulnerability and emotions that we often hide from others. Spending countless hours adding layer upon layer of paint, Joshua produces powerful paintings that resonate with viewers long after their gaze has left the canvas. His subjects are predominantly male; their demeanours are often ambiguous.
At first glance we see proud and powerful portraits, however once we observe the paint – the cracks in its surface, the way it breaks away from the contour of the face into a multitude of lines and strokes – our perception of these men begin to shift. We begin to understand that the face if often a façade, masking what we all experience as humans – times of fragility, vulnerability and powerlessness. Painted predominantly with oil paint, each and every piece of art takes its own journey through a process of experimentation. The artworks are created to challenge the viewer and prompt them to draw upon their own emotive experiences.