Born in 1969 in Tacoma Washington. Josh Keyes received his BFA in 1992 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in 1998 from Yale University School of Art. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally and has work in private and public collections. Keyes currently lives and works in Portland Oregon with his wife and artist Lisa Ericson.
The animals emerge from the pages of my sketchbook sometimes as singular studies occupying a diagrammatic space, while others wander through dystopian landscapes like specimens or dioramas from a mysterious museum of natural history. I build each painting like a collage, with multiple references. Sometimes I use modeling clay to sculpt a maquette of an animal head or other object to help see how light or shadows fall over a form.
The imagery that fascinates me is associated with mythology and folklore, specifically the legends and stories that seem to take place in the space between dreams and nightmares. For me this area contains the strongest psychological relationship to our present ecological situation and gives voice to the underlying existential anxiety and uncertainty many people have about the future.