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The Artist Sees Differently: Joseph Shetler

May 27, 2011

JOSEPH SHETLER, Museum Assistant

Joseph Shetler, museum assistant on duty in the original House. Photo: Claire Norman

How did you learn about the Phillips?

I had moved here from Arizona and had never really spent much time east of Indiana so I had no idea where to look for a job or what museums where here other than the handful on the mall. So the answer to that question is Craigslist. Turns out, we were a match made in heaven, been together nine months now.

Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips art?

Definitely. I think I have learned more about painting from my time in the galleries than I did in school. I often get anxious standing among the art because I get ideas that I need to get down on paper. As soon as I am able to get home I often draw until I no longer can. And if I don’t have a chance to work on the idea right away I note it down and give myself time to think about it for a while. Another nice thing about working at the Phillips and being surround by the masters is that you start to grasp what it takes to achieve the quality that museums search for. That quality is the standard I have set for myself.

What do you listen to as you make your art?

Depends on my mood, but mostly Pandora, NPR, This American Life, The Black Keys, M. Ward, Animal Collective, Kid Cudi, Ratatat, Sondre Lerche, Devendra Banhart, The New Yorker Fiction podcasts, among many others.

Who’s your favorite artist in the collection?

Hands down, Richard Diebenkorn. Composition and color is a big thing for me, and I think, for the most part, that guy got it.

Do you collect other artwork – or anything?

If I had the money or space, I would, but I do not, so I don’t.

Joseph Shetler. "5 Columns," 2010, ink on paper, 50" x 50"

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Bev permalink
    May 27, 2011 3:41 pm

    This is a very nice interview and I love the piece, 5 Columns. I’ll have to check out Richard Diebenkorn!

  2. ron permalink
    May 27, 2011 3:52 pm

    Nice picture. cool drawing.

  3. Beuford permalink
    May 28, 2011 5:36 pm

    The artist looks differently, too. Nice interview. I’d be interested in seeing more of your work; I really enjoy the juxtaposing of the organic and the geometric as well as the Escher-like reading of the positive and negative spaces. Well done.

  4. Lisa Leinberger permalink
    May 29, 2011 5:15 pm

    Air shafts of ink on paper! Lovely.

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