Foundry Gallery | Josef Keyes Can They Hear Me Now…

By East City Art Editorial Team on November 6, 2023

Fri, November 3 2023 — Sun, November 26 2023

i sat still in hopes that it help my wings grow.. so that i could really be fly – 48” x 48” – Mixed media on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist.

From the artist: “For as long as I can remember, my comfort embraced the quiet. Throughout my childhood, an illness in my throat prevented me from verbally expressing myself confidently. It was as if I had to force every word out with excruciating effort. One sentence would leave me out of breath and frustrated. As a result, depression always had a looming presence in my life. Dealing with this made me withdraw deep within myself. Constantly seeking ways to express my thoughts, feelings, and dreams; I sort alternative channels to convey these elements within my life. When my body started to heal itself, I discovered the enchanting and expressive world of art, or perhaps it discovered me.

Like a harmonious dance, art and I intertwined. With my natural gift of imagination as a guiding light, I embarked on a path of self-discovery, with art as my documentation. My lifestyle became a bold but subtle statement of ‘I’m here’. The inspiration that I started to investigate, the artists of past and their abstracted work left me with the possibilities of creating my own language. The often loud, powerful, and vibrant work that I came across birthed new energy within me. So, I started to paint, capturing the vivid hues of my imagination, pouring this language of stories, and lessons onto my own canvases. Each brushstroke became a revelation, a glimpse into the depths of my soul that words could never quite express early on in my life and still to this day.

‘Can They Hear Me Now..’ was first started in 2017, and is the manifestation of the inspiration I’ve gained through searching and listening to all kinds of artists and scholars throughout my life. Abstraction was the language I gravitated towards; its imaginative possibilities caught my interest early on in my career. During my first years of working, I didn’t see many artists that looked like me whose work I really enjoyed. So, I started to create what I wanted to see and feel through my work. I needed my work to speak. And this work was that effort.”

Foundry Gallery is located at  2118 – 8th Street NW