Joe Biel’s “Veil”

April 9, 2012  |   Feature,   News
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"Veil" by artist Joe Biel. Each tiny television has a detailed painting in the screen. (Francine Orr, Los Angeles Times / March 6, 2012)

Leah Ollman wrote in the Los Angeles Times about Joe Biel’s panoramic drawing of 1,124 tiny (from a thumbnail to a postage stamp) televisions — each TV set with a meticulously rendered image on-screen. The drawing stretches 12 feet across the wall. Drawn from the artist’s collection of more than 5,000 images, the range of subjects span from a glimpse of Elvis to a Velázquez portrait — from Stalin to Dorothy’s ruby slippers. The banal and generic images are deliberately mixed with the iconic and personally significant.

“VEIL," 2010-Present (in progress) Watercolor, Gouache and Graphite on Paper, 58 x 148 in. This work is a long term large scale work begun in January 2010 and still in progress (projected date of completion is Spring 2013). The piece is on a single sheet of paper, 58 x 148 in. and depicts 1,124 Television sets arranged in towers. Each black and white television has a different screen shot rendered in watercolor and gouache. Images are drawn from a variety of sources: Hollywood films, Art films, Network TV, documentaries, commercials as well as photographic and art historical references. The range is meant to suggest a broad, though certainly idiosyncratic view of contemporary culture seen from a variety of platforms (emotional, cultural, historical).

“I’m not a storyteller, and there’s really not a narrative, except in as much as the world is one big set of them,” explains Beil, “This is my weird attempt at encapsulating my time. The idea is of craft being wedded to meaning. To me, they’re always together.” Check out this article: In the Studio: Joe Beil embraces the ‘Veil’