In his show “Still Life”, Joe Walters continues his exploration of leaves, tree limbs and other vegetation that could be found fallen on the ground in the woods as his subject. Some are shown as in the act of falling, but encrusted with a rust-like surface suggesting stillness, and echoing the theatrical device of tableau. The sculptures depart from his previous installations that were directly mounted to the wall, as they are now mounted on wooden panels that are sculpted and surfaced to be integral to the whole, placing the work in a pictorial context.
A subtle playfulness is present. There are unlikely scale juxtapositions, instances of new growth sprouting from completely decayed logs, and the occasional lizard, frog, or wasp.
At first glance the work appears to be composed of actual natural objects. However, they are completely crafted by the artist from metal rod and mesh, polymer clay, modelling compound, glue, sand and paint. Walters enjoys this conundrum. “It challenges perception. I create the works in a naturalistic manner but leave enough clues that if a viewer spends time exploring the sculptures they will find evidence of their fiction. I’ve always been a process oriented artist and enjoy using an eccentric mixed-media method to realize my intent. I hope the pleasure I derive from their making comes through to the viewer.”
Joe Walter's sculpture installations and works on paper have been exhibited widely in museums and galleries around the country, including the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, Jacksonville, FL; SECCA, Winston-Salem, NC; Westobu Festival, Augusta, GA; the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; and Contemporary Charleston, Charleston, SC, among others. He holds a MFA in sculpture from East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. His artwork is included in such notable collections as the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO, Clemson University, Clemson, SC and Emory University, Atlanta, GA, Art in Embassies, Instanbul, Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, Atlanta, GA, the Metro Zoo in Miami, FL and Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA. Walters received a Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship in 1995. Joe Walters was born in Kentucky. He resides and works in Charleson, SC.