Joe Lanzilotta is a Cleveland-based artist/designer currently writing in third person.
My work tells stories about people in moments of time in a universe adjacent our own. I consider my compositions narrative portraiture and liken them to cinematic stills with characteristics of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras.
The subjects are almost always aware of the viewer and focused intently on being captured in the moment. The characters are somewhat ambiguous racially, sexually, and formally, but of a specific canon with differing styles of external and material choice. Thought of as molds or models meant to be dressed and styled, the characters evoke a seriousness within that is often contradicted by exaggerated environments and interactions.
I explore painting and composition as a non-linear storyboarding of short narratives. Most of the work begins as written shorts, poems or statements from which the visuals are derived. The content is often light-hearted, pointing out the absurdities of human culture – wealth, fashion, art, language, religion, and purpose .
I’m concerned with the meanings we derive from a finite existence and the relationships between static, fleeting moments on a never-ending scale of time.