Coming from a rough neighborhood in L.A he went on to study at Sacramento State before settling in the Bay area. When asked about why he came to the Bay area after teaching art and design at UCLA, he simply replied, “An artist has to eat, and I love to eat, so I came to the Bay area, I came to the work!”
He explained his method of being a multi-media artist and how he uses a lot of “found objects” in his art. His art includes a lot of random little objects that may have been cast aside by others but have found new meaning and purpose in Joe’s art.
“What I do is I find stuff that other people throw away and its reincarnated and repurposed in my work. So the reason I love using things that people walk over and pay no attention to is we get to re-anoint it in our work as art. It’s so thrilling to take something, to take a big pile of junk and you look at it and think ‘oh man what can I make out of that!” Joe said.
This style choice comes from his belief in the artistic freedom that ‘junk’ gives him. Things that other people have thrown away are transformed into a completely different shape and meaning. The joy of creation and reinvention is especially liberating to Joe and, according to him, keeps him enthusiastic about his work.