Joe Gilmore
Artist/
Painter

Joe Gilmore

Painter

Bio

I was born in Florida in 1958. I received my first scholarship to study watercolor painting when I was 10 years old. I sang and made up operas everyday from the time Little Mike decided to become an opera singer until I was in my 40th decade, and frankly had enough of the black New York City Opera scene which is basically a den of serpents, gossips, and predators. Yes, I said that! If you don’t believe me, just ask Truman Capote about his time traveling with Porgy and Bess. Coincedentally by that point I had began to have a rather nice career of selling and exhibiting my paintings on my own without a dealer or gallery. I was blessed with quite a network of collectors who brought me more patrons through word of mouth.
The theme of family intimacy is the most dominant artistic language in which I speak. Even when my work is purely abstract with no human form, I am addressing family and intimacy. I am a descendent of Africans who were enslaved in this country. These souls lived in heredity bondage until after the civil war. They were property as were their babies. I think that the subject of family is so important to me because I grew up so loved and treasured by my great grandmother whose grandparents were owned by other humans in the same way as one owns a house or a horse. She demonstrated to me how much she treasured me. That is why we all gathered at her humble home every Sunday for a feast which she prepared, why she always had goodies baking in the oven. It is also why her children, including my grandmother (Mama) Angie never spoke a harsh word to me and always had love in their eyes when they looked at us. We were their children! The master could not take us away from them, and even though she had to suffer all kinds of institutionally designed ignominy from day to day she bore that treatment gracefully. Her great grand mother could not prevent the slave mistress from throwing her grand mother into the hog pin to be mauled, but she owned her babies! We would not be so abused. I paint my story, and my story is all about family fallible, imperfect, but mine or yours. Ours.

Artworks