Joe Coleman is a world-renowned painter, writer and performer who has exhibited for four decades in major museums throughout the world including one-man exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin and the Barbican Centre in London. Notable among his solo gallery exhibitions were those at Tilton Gallery, Dickinson Gallery and Psychedelic Solution in New York, La Luz de Jesus in Los Angeles, Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago and The Horse Hospital in London. He was featured in the “Unrealism” show in Miami presented by Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian. He is currently represented by Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York where his work has been presented in the shows: Joe Coleman and the Shadow Self and Joe Coleman: 100 Seconds to Midnight.
From his beginnings in underground comix particularly in his graphic novel The Mystery of Woolverine Woo-Bait (1982) and his seminal performance work from the outrageous “punk” band Steel Tips in the 1970’s to his “transgressive performance art” of the 1980’s, Joe Coleman has gone on to focus all his attention onto his finely crafted paintings which he meticulously executes with jewelers’ lenses and a single hair brush. Each of these detailed works require years to produce.
An avid and passionate collector, Coleman’s “Odditorium” is a private museum where sideshow objects, wax figures, crime artifacts and works of religious devotion live together to form a dark mirror that reflects the alternative side of the American psyche.
Joe Coleman was the subject of an award-winning feature length documentary, Rest in Pieces: A Portrait of Joe Coleman (1997). He has appeared in acting roles in films such as Asia Argento’s Scarlet Diva (2000). And also appeared as himself in the Lower East Side episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown (2018).
There have been several monographs of his paintings including Original Sin: The Visionary Art of Joe Coleman (1997) and The Book of Joe: The Art of Joe Coleman (2003). This fall Fantagraphics Books will release A Doorway to Joe the largest tome to date of the artist’s work and life.
Joe Coleman lives with his wife, muse and long-time partner, Whitney Ward in New York.