To put it simply, Joseph Taylor (1983 Milwaukee, WI United States) is a renaissance man. One moment he is a multi-instrumentalist, the next a carpenter and this is the short beginning to a much longer list. But here we talk about wood and the technique is called “intarsia”. There is no waste in his work. The recycled and reclaimed tag fully applies here but with a little less of the “save the earth” feeling and more raw resourcefulness, even the nails used have been straightened on an anvil and reapplied. Dyed and laminated maple has been cut, carved, hand sanded and arranged on planks of wood collected from any number of past lives to create calm distant landscapes. Characters in these landscapes might include a train, hot air balloons or a passing submarine in the sky, somehow marrying a vintage 70’s stock photo with a lucid dream about aliens. By exploring the concept of landscape in a nostalgic way, Taylor investigates a simplification of a world that is easy on our mind but doesn’t fail to raise a question. Rather than presenting a factual reality, a suggestion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination.
All mysteries aside, it is the simplicity stands out in this work. Any labors and volume of the creation process are washed away in the sight of the final piece. Easy to look at, one may wish to be a part of the image and bask in the silence. This is the intention, to create and promote some idea of ease in a far too busy world. A piece that quiets your brain and keeps you company while occasionally asking a question, helping one remember there is something purer than the jumbled mess that is often before us.
It hangs on a wall and has a permanent feeling of durability, a welcome reprieve from carefully tiptoeing around canvass and clay or the lost music files and spreading weeds of some of the multi man’s other interests. Joseph Taylor currently lives and creates in Madison, Wisconsin.