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Meet the Artist: Joe Banda

The Inner Workings of Joe Banda will deck the halls of the Groundwork gallery from June 1st through July 6th.

Banda describes his artwork as an ongoing conversation he has with himself, focused mainly on his anxiety, fears, failures, and disappointments. He is motivated by the frustration of working a day job, current events, political uneasiness, and seasonal depression.

Influences include American folk art, Japanese block printing, contemporary tattooing, outsider art, and all things counter culture. He uses a stream of conscious approach while working, to keep an honest representation of his own human experience. Read on to hear what he had to say about his artwork, what inspires him, and more.

An 85 Sportster tank and two helmets became canvases for some of Banda’s work.

What materials do you work with?

I mainly work with acryla gouache and auto paint on any scraps I can find, mostly aluminum and acrylic panels. I have a hard time paying for surfaces to paint on when there’s so much good trash to paint on. 

Tell us about your current body of work. What motivated it?

My current body of work is a few years in the making. I can’t say there’s much of a theme other than stress relief and searching for a sense of accomplishment. If it’s about anything it’s about the balance of having a full time job and making the most out of my free time. I’m motivated by the fact I wasted a lot of my formative years watching tv and playing video games, instead of learning real world skills and trades. I also have a useless college degree, so any day I’m not being productive and working on something I feel a certain amount of guilt.

How do you integrate art into your life and other responsibilities? Do you work full-time as an artist or do you wear other hats?

I make art when I can, I work a full time job as an industrial painter. It can be hard to be motivated to create art after waking up at 4am, working a 10 hour shift then sitting in 2 hours of traffic, but I still do. I honestly don’t know if I would be as motivated to make work if I didn’t have a day job. It would be nice to sleep in to like 6am though. 

How has your art practice evolved over the years?

 The last 5 years or so I’ve learned to be more patient. If something isn’t working in a piece, I’ve learned to just work through it and be more of a problem solver, rather than just scrapping a piece because it’s not an immediate success.

What or who inspires you?

I’m inspired by anyone who works hard. No matter their trade or business I’m really motivated by the people who make me feel lazy. In addition to that I’m lucky to live in a small but creative community, where it feels more supportive rather than competitive.

How is community important to you as a practicing artist?

Community is everything to me as an artist. I’ve gained so much more in my career by reaching out and being friendly with my peers rather than pushing them away and trying to outdo them. The only person worth competing with is myself. I know when I’m phoning it in, and I have to be able to call my self out when I’m being lazy. Also, I get so much more enjoyment out of having a strong network and endless opportunities with the people around me. 

Swing by Groundwork on Saturday, June 1st, from 6-9 pm for the opening reception. Meet Joe, check out his work, and support the local arts community. For more information, visit the event page.

Caitlin Joseph

Community Manager at Groundwork
Caitlin grew up here on the SouthCoast, and has a background in marketing, media, events, and personal training. Family and friends make her world go round, and she thrives on problem solving and helping others reach their goals. In her free time, she enjoys being with her son and husband, drinking coffee, and staying active.
Caitlin Joseph