There has indeed been an audience for Arthur, who has exhibited his works in North America, Europe and Asia since his debut showing at the Vertigo Gallery in London, England in 2006. “You really start to teach yourself through looking. It’s kind of the same way you teach yourself music – through listening. Like when you first hear Bob Dylan and you go, “Oh my God…” Then you start spinning off that and listening to other people and you figure out how to write songs through listening. Same thing with painting,” explains Arthur of his creative process.
Though Joseph Arthur’s first passion is the visual arts, he is better known for his musical talents after being discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-nineties. Since then, Arthur has released seven full- length studio albums and eleven EPs, with music from his extensive and critically acclaimed catalog being used in such popular television series as Dawson’s Creek, The OC, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, HBO’s Hung and True Blood, as well as in the films Shrek 2, The Bourne Identity, Hell’s Kitchen and the American Pie trilogy. Coming off of the heels of touring and releasing an album alongside Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison for the side project, Fistful of Mercy, Arthur released his long-awaited solo album, ‘The Graduation Ceremony’, on May 24, 2011.
Arthur also sells and showcases his art on the playfully named virtual gallery, Museum of Modern Arthur. Though currently only existing exclusively online, MOMAR was, from 2007 to 2009, a New York- based Andy Warhol-esque factory where Arthur’s private recording studio and gallery space coexisted in a symbiotic relationship – each feeding, informing, and balancing the other. That same dichotomous push and pull evident in Arthur’s marriage of painting and singing is also often thematically explored in his artwork; emblematic of his quest to explore and reveal the hidden tension between chaos and beauty, his paintings are, like his music; evocative, emotive, and replete with the natural rhythms of life.
With close to twenty national and international exhibits under his belt, it is clear that Joseph Arthur’s prolific output of art and music has garnered much attention – and while everyone else discusses its meaning and credence, Arthur is on to the next project; “Andy Warhol’s approach to art is an ideal for me: make art, and while people are deciding whether they like it or not, make more art”.