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Process: Joy Miessi

Joy Miessi first landed on our radar in early 2018. Having fallen in love with their work we quickly invited Joy to contribute as one of 50 artists in our annual 50/50 campaign. Since then, the London-based mixed media artist has continued to cultivate a unique style that captures the attention; commanding an output that spans fine art, print, fashion and poetry.

 

In the latest edition of our Process series, we chat about the books, paintings and poetry that influence Joy’s creative process.

 

Shop the Joy Miessi curated collection of T-shirts featuring Liam Cobb, Joey Yu, Olivia Twist, Hannah Hill, Catherine Morton-Abuah, Ines J, NoiamReiss and Megan Bell Lucki. 

 

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Joy Miessi
Photography
Joy Miessi
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Joy Miessi photographed by Rosie Mathieson
Joy Miessi photographed by Rosie Mathieson

This is my studio; I share the other side of the space with my studio mate Yasmin Falahat. We’re quite new to this space so we’re still settling in. (It’s super cold atm so that oil heater literally goes wherever I go in the studio.)

Joy Miessi Studio
Joy Miessi Studio

Posters

Back in the day, one of my favourite things about visiting an exhibition was going to the gift shop and getting a poster to remember the moment. I love the format, central image, the large text at the footer, the borders and the smaller text that lines the bottom of the image. Inspired by posters, I started combining my drawing work with my writing and using text to add depth to my images.

Joy Miessi Studio
Joy Miessi Studio

I have a few books about posters but this one is my favourite at the moment; it’s a collection of feminist posters by a range of artists. I like how these posters reflect the society at the time they were made in and uses art as a tool for social change.

To create without restriction and to document highs and lows.

Joy Miessi Studio
Joy Miessi Studio

Jenny Holzer

Throughout university Jenny Holzer was one of my favourite artists. Her work encouraged me to write. I write about my dreams, my thoughts, sentences that I overhear that stick in mind. I keep it all on my phone notes and I come back to these words and often use them in my collages and paintings.

Jenny Holzer (Contemporary Artists)
Jenny Holzer (Contemporary Artists)

I love that these texts by Holzer can be carried from a gallery setting to a t-shirt, which takes the artwork outside of the gallery and wherever the wearer goes. This is what has made me interested in print and clothing as new ways of communicating a message offline.

Jenny Holzer (Contemporary Artists)
Jenny Holzer (Contemporary Artists)

Henri Matisse

I love these cutouts by Matisse and the composition and the colours used. I went to the Cut Out exhibition by Matisse at the Tate in 2014 and this really inspired me to work with paper in the way that I do. Playing around with shape, colour to build backgrounds, figures and faces. Around that time I also wanted to be creating artwork but didn’t have a lot of money to buy materials, the exhibition made me see all these beautiful artworks made with paper and challenged me to use materials that are accessible to me as an unconventional canvas.

Henri Matisse: The Cut-outs by Gilles Néret
Henri Matisse: The Cut-outs by Gilles Néret

Poetry & Portraits

I’ve always loved portraiture and this has become one of my favourite portraits by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (2010)
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (2010)

These poems by Yrsa Daley Ward are so personal and real. I like that the author shares these unfiltered feelings with us the readers. That’s something that I try to do in my work, to create without restriction and to document highs and lows.

Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward
Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward

Material

I try to use whatever materials I have around and often use them all on one piece. My favourite materials are paper and card. I label a lot of things as mixed media as I find myself writing notes in pen, paintings some elements, using pastels or stamps or whatever I can find that makes a mark. I like combining collected textures and clashing colours to create simple but bold compositions I can work on top of.

Joy Miessi Studio
Joy Miessi Studio

Fernand Léger

I adore this painting by Fernand Léger. My favourite part of it is the man’s face, it’s one of Léger’s more simpler artworks and that’s what I enjoy about it, it is just a man in a blue hat and but this portrait is one of the artworks that got me into painting.

The Man In The Blue Hat by Fernand Léger
The Man In The Blue Hat by Fernand Léger

Self Portrait

This is a self-portrait of myself that I made last year which is a bit of mixed media and is mounted onto wood. Self-portraits are a central part of my practice, growing up there’s very little representation of folks that look like myself, so for me to represent myself and tell my story, as mundane as my life can be at times is important. For me, it’s important to make work that is true to myself.

Self-portrait by Joy Miessi
Self-portrait by Joy Miessi

Blue Glass Fortunes

I started this painting after a dream I had. I’ve forgotten most of the story but remembered I was in a grand room like the set in Looking For Langstone by Issac Julien, it was quite dark but there were these blue wine glasses that reflected light onto everything around me. That turned into this painting which is about the dream and the memory of dancing at a night out in South London.

Joy Miessi Studio
Blue Glass Fortunes (acrylic and oil on canvas) 2019.

Read more: Joy Miessi on making wearable art

 

 

 

Cory Edwards
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Cory Edwards
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