Josh Raz graduated from Newcastle University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and has continued to live and work in Newcastle upon Tyne since. Since winning the Hix Award in 2016, Raz was featured in GQ magazine (May 2017) and has since produced two solo shows, ‘The Atrophy Experience’, held at Hix Gallery, London in 2017 and ‘Hubris and a Whimper’, held at Abject Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne in 2018. Between these two exhibitions, Raz has completed a residency in Al Cuz Cuz, situated in the mountains of Malaga, Spain and has participated in a number of group shows. Most recently, Raz has exhibited at Christie’s and Unit London as a part of the group shows ‘Uncovers’ (2019) and ‘Beyond Borders’ (2019/2020).
His artwork explores his experiences and personal connections with spaces, objects and people around him, using paint and sculpture to give them vibrance and a voice, which can be heard, even in busy city centre surroundings.
"My paintings acknowledge that reality is experiencing a period of atrophy. In neglecting to question artificial narrative, artificial intelligence and our own increasingly artificial existence, the significance of reality is withering. We live vicariously through flat interfaces, and thus they are treated as the primary sources of empirical truth. The paintings unpick the dependability of the two-dimensional image with spliced landscapes and warped perspectives: I acknowledge the authority with which we endow images, and attempt to subvert it through a recycling process.
My latest work illuminates possible symptoms of prioritizing individualism over community. One’s individual identity and opinions have become the salient measures of worth. Perhaps this modern anthropological shift can be held accountable for some of wider society’s flaws: platforms that offer the illusion of community whilst only truly catering for the individual; the diminishing cultural presence of love; the antiquation of community; the commandments of the collectives that remain becoming fierce, unforgiving and polarising.
These narratives exist concurrently with a zeitgeist of feeling increasingly secondary, or even insignificant, within a swelling population. When one’s ostensibly unique desires can be quantified, categorised and manipulated by the systems that govern our lives, it becomes increasingly difficult not to feel like an outline in someone else’s periphery."
View Joshua's work in his virtual Ancora Gallery below