A Conversation with Joshua Petker: Exploring Color

The Intriguing World of Paint and its Artistic Potential

Have you ever stopped to ponder the magical properties of paint? Its ability to transform a blank canvas into a vibrant work of art is truly remarkable. As we delve into the captivating realm of paint, we invite you on a journey to explore its diverse applications, mesmerizing compositions, and the artists who bring it to life.

A Colorful Tapestry of Influences

Before we embark on this artistic exploration, let’s consider the influence and inspiration behind the breathtaking works of artists like Joshua Petker. Petker, known for his vibrant and multi-dimensional compositions, draws inspiration from various sources, ranging from psychedelic posters of the 1960s to old masters’ paintings.

Looking closely at Petker’s latest exhibition, Tambourine, we can see the psychedelic undercurrents in his bold color choices and layered compositions. Within these pieces, he skillfully combines images from different eras and genres, creating harmony through unexpected juxtapositions. It’s like a DJ mixing two contrasting elements to produce an entirely new and captivating experience.

The compositions themselves are nothing short of astounding. They possess a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of colors, radiating energy and demanding attention. Some exude a subtle exuberance, while others vibrate with a tropical fruit-flavored menace. Petker intentionally infuses his works with a sense of anxiety, creating an optical distrust that keeps viewers engaged and intrigued.

The Power of Colors

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the central role of color in Petker’s art. His mastery lies not only in selecting unique color combinations but also in harmonizing hues that wouldn’t typically coexist. It’s comparable to seeing a tall person date a short person – unexpected, yet undeniably captivating.

Within his paintings, Petker defies conventional color schemes, seamlessly blending contrasting shades into a cohesive visual feast. The result is a symphony of colors that pushes the boundaries of artistic expression. He fearlessly explores the subtle nuances of gray, using it strategically to enhance the vibrancy of other hues without overwhelming the viewer.

Curious about how Petker selects his palette, we discover that he gravitates towards the dynamic interplay between blue and red. This captivating combination never fails to captivate him, evoking a sense of movement and synergy. As an artist, he continually evolves and learns to incorporate different colors into his repertoire, such as green, which he previously avoided.

An Artistic Journey Fueled by Chaos

Leaning into the chaos that surrounds artistic inspiration, Petker finds solace and focus within his studio. Painting becomes a meditative process for him as he delicately merges his creative thoughts and ideas into a single moment of silent pause. While chaos may inspire him, Petker’s studio practice allows him to transform that chaos into something beautiful and tangible.

When it comes to influences beyond his immediate circle, Petker admits to focusing mainly on his artist friends. However, he recognizes the importance of striking a balance between isolation and inspiration. By avoiding excessive exposure to external influences, he maintains a clear vision of his artistic direction while remaining open to new possibilities.

The Psychedelic Link

Now, let’s address the undeniable influence of psychedelics on Petker’s artistic journey. Honesty prevails as he confidently attributes his vast range of creative exploration to his psychedelic experiences from the past. These mind-altering substances allowed him to perceive the world through a different lens and sparked a new wave of artistic inspiration.

While it’s tempting to draw parallels between Petker’s art and the hallucinogenic experience, his unique aesthetic transcends simple associations. His work represents a manifestation of anti-academic strategies within the wider history of image-making. The captivating clash of colors and the Art Nouveau-inspired aesthetic resonate with viewers on various levels, evoking a deep appreciation for the psychedelic movement.

The Conceptual Choice of Paint and Its Enduring Excellence

Ah, paint – the cornerstone of artistic expression. In a world driven by technological advancements, the choice to paint is, in itself, a conceptual decision. Yet, it is precisely this decision that continues to captivate and challenge artists like Joshua Petker, reaffirming the vitality of paint as a medium.

A Symphony of Choices

Every stroke of the brush, every pigment meticulously selected – these choices ultimately shape the final masterpiece. The process of painting becomes an intricate dance, where each decision affects the overall composition. Petker’s works exemplify the profound impact of these choices, captivating the eyes and nourishing the mind.

As observers, we navigate the world predominantly through sight. Paintings create a serene, vigilant state of mind, much like gazing into a flame. In an era of sensory overload, where attention is constantly sought, paint provides a welcome respite, inviting viewers to engage deeply with the artwork.

The Pleasure of Attractiveness and Intellectual Depth

Petker’s ultimate goal is to create paintings that please both the seasoned collector and the critical academic. By harnessing the inherent attractiveness of his works, he invites viewers to immerse themselves intellectually and emotionally. The depth of his compositions allows for a multi-dimensional exploration that transcends mere aesthetics.

Within Petker’s masterpieces, we find layers of meaning and symbolism, waiting to be discovered by those willing to delve deeper. The interplay between colors, subjects, and techniques gives rise to a visual language that speaks to the soul. It’s a language that defies conventions and invites viewers to contemplate the ineffable.


The world of paint is a captivating realm where artists like Joshua Petker bring their visions to life. We’ve taken a glimpse into the mind of a master painter, exploring the influences, color choices, and artistic process that shape his extraordinary works. From the mind-expanding effects of psychedelics to the conscious decisions made in the studio, Petker’s art is a testament to the enduring power and allure of paint.


1. How does Joshua Petker select the color palette for his paintings?

Joshua Petker follows his intuition when selecting colors, often leaning towards the captivating combination of blue and red. However, he constantly challenges himself to incorporate new colors into his work, allowing his artistic expression to evolve.

2. What influences have played a significant role in Joshua Petker’s art?

Petker draws inspiration from a range of sources, including psychedelic rock posters from the 1960s and old masters’ paintings. The blend of clashing colors and Art Nouveau aesthetics has profoundly influenced his artistic style.

3. How does Petker balance isolation and inspiration in his studio practice?

Petker finds solace in working alone, allowing him to create within a calm and meditative environment. While he primarily focuses on his artist friends for inspiration, he acknowledges the need to strike a balance between isolation and external influences.

4. How does Petker’s art capture the essence of the psychedelic movement?

Petker’s bold and vibrant compositions resonate with the psychedelic movement through their vivid clashes of color and layered imagery. His work represents an anti-academic approach to image-making, skillfully evoking the essence of the psychedelic experience.

5. What distinguishes Petker’s paintings and their intellectual depth?

Petker’s paintings not only possess inherent attractiveness but also offer intellectual depth. Through complex compositions and interplay between colors, subjects, and techniques, he invites viewers to explore deeper meanings and contemplate the ineffable nature of art.