I know a lot of artists… I mean, that’s kind of an understatement. I know a boat load of artists, and I follow a lot of them on social media. It’s pretty common to see studio shots mixed in with life updates etc, but if you follow Josh Byers, aka 60 Watt Funnel on Instagram you’ll get the sense all he does is produce artwork. Like… 24-7. He’s a machine.
He’s clearly telling a story in his work. It’s one of hard working, blue collar ethics in direct conflict (or perhaps more honestly, in direct parallel) with a life of hard drinking and general intense unwinding.
What’s amazing to find out is that he not only seemingly paints full time for a living, but is also a full time craftsman, working with concrete on a daily basis. It all makes sense… the sculptures cast in concrete and covered in concrete bags. The reference to different chemicals as well as different types of alcohol… You couldn’t get more genuine blue color, and low brow while honestly nodding to the high brow.
Josh had an opening this past Friday at my favorite gallery in Toledo, and the work was intense and evolving. Keep an eye on this man, and if you’re in the position to show artists via a gallery or blog / magazine etc, consider reaching out direct. I’m not kidding. This guy is on to something, and it’s honest, solid and soulful.