Joseph Meloy (b. 1982, New York City) coined the term Vandal Expressionism to tag his personal post-graffiti spin on abstract art. Drawing heavily from abstract expressionism, art brut, surrealism and pop art, Joseph incorporates some of the more primal elements of graffiti and the iconography of damage and intrusion from street art and turns the calligraphic scribbles of the street into a medium for artistic divination. Unencumbered by distinctions between the abstract and the figurative, Joseph’s work delves into the impulses of the subconscious, pouring them out onto canvas, paper and wall in an otherworldly yet distinctly urban visual language.
Joseph’s work is about making marks, whether they’re made with a pencil, a drippy marker, a paintbrush, a digital stylus or a camera, the ends justify the means in Vandal Expressionism, and there is a definite sense of “paint first, ask questions later.”