Joe Fish
Artist Statement / Philosophy


I believe it to be an essential obligation of the artist to position his/her artistic philosophy as the keystone of their creation. Consequently the following statement must accompany my constructions and be considered a portion of my artwork.


My work pairs concept with aesthetic the way a dance pairs two dancers. The couple become one entity while they are dancing together and yet the two individual performances render distinct impressions.


Breakthrough contemporary art is like a new eccentric or schismatic religion. I have created radical new unauthorized interpretations of the Mormon plates by quoting portions of The Book of Mormon. I am not a Mormon myself and therefore take an outsider’s view of the text. My goal is to create a new sincere cultural schism that intentionally builds on existing religion. I want to combine art and religion into a new subject. The work does not revere Mormonism, but it does not deride it either. The tone is curious, sincere and questioning.


Because of the bizarre and unfamiliar type in these plates, initially the viewer will not understand the meaning of the text. By default, the viewer will direct his or her attention to the novel shapes and designs of this unknown alphabet. An aura of mystery will encircle the work. The composition of code shape and display design is where I devote my aesthetic creativity.


For thousands of years, the dominant concepts of visual art have been locked in a submissive role under the leadership of world religions. Meanwhile, those religious powers have gone through their own creative phases. In more recent times, Western art has been able to escape the control of religious forces. In creating this new subject, I want to establish an art/religion hybrid that now grants new powers to the artist. I want to intentionally cultivate a grey area and fully utilize our freedom of religion.

Addendum 1:

I have now begun augmenting the Mormon script it-self, creating a new poetry and authoring culture-conscious, self-determined values based on a visionary hypothetical future heritage. I have created a lead character for this New Subject by generating a new female angel. Her name is Angelica Valkyrie. This oak tree angel is not a messenger of a god. She is instead a more honest spirit of a people. Angelica Valkyrie is a being more Western than all previous Western artists combined.

With this New Subject, I now push the “artist as mythmaker” mantra one step further. This new attempt encourages both artist and audience to dream beyond persecution, personal sacrifice or petty limits of the present and instead to gaze deep into the future to a timeless ideal. For beauty, for love, for a people not yet born.