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People, Places and the Unexpected: the Paintings and Photography of Artist Joseph Siegel

Wonders of the Ocean
Wonders of the Ocean, encaustic painting, detail,
27" x 44"

Wonders of the Ocean
Glowing Staircase, encaustic painting inspired by a photograph, 36" x 24"

The John Cotton Dana Library is pleased to announce that the photographs and encaustic paintings of Joseph Siegel will be on view in the Library's Gallery from February 4th through April 2nd, 2011. The exhibit, curated by Audrey Leeds and Marcia Rudy, may be seen during the Library's open hours, Monday through Thursday, 8AM to 12AM (midnight), Friday, 8AM to 7PM, Saturday, 10AM to 6PM and Sunday, 12PM (noon) to 8PM. A program and reception will take place on Thursday, March 3rd, at 4PM. Copies of Mr. Siegel's book, People, Places and the Unexpected: A Photographic Journey, will be available for sale and autographing by the artist.

As a child growing up in New York City, Joseph Siegel demonstrated his artistic talents which were fostered by his mother. Following graduation from high school, he enrolled in the City College of New York while working full time in an advertising agency. Mr. Siegel earned his BBA degree from City College which provided a strong foundation for his successful career in finance and insurance. Actively employed at UBS, Mr. Siegel continues to explore various artistic media including sculpture and painting although photography remains his preferred expressive medium. Recently Mr. Siegel began pursuing a new interest, encaustic painting.

An inveterate traveler, Mr. Siegel uses his camera to capture spontaneous images of urban residents. The truthfulness of this approach reveals the individuality of the subjects and their cultural settings. Mr. Siegel has also taken photographs of New York City residents and their lifestyles. As the viewer joins the photographer in looking in at the subjects, both those living locally and those in European and Asian cities, similarities may be seen. Distilling the human experience to its essence is one of Mr. Siegel's objectives as an artist.

Mr. Siegel is also drawn to the natural and man-made environments. He has explored them through his photography and, currently, through his encaustic paintings. An ancient method, encaustic painting was first employed 2000 years ago by the Egyptians to create realistic portraits of the deceased on mummy cases and by early Christians in their religious icons. Artists, notably those connected with the German Bauhaus, rediscovered the medium in the 20th century. Encaustic paintings are prepared by applying hot beeswax with colored pigments to wood, canvas, or plaster. While brushes may be used to apply the molten wax in a similar fashion to paint, molding tools may also be used to sculpt the surface.

Mr. Siegel's photographs have been exhibited at noted galleries in the area including the Rockefeller Gallery in Tarrytown, New York, Blue Hill Cultural Corporate Center in Pearl River, New York, the Uma Gallery in New York City, the Sullivan County Museum (NY) and the New York Hall of Science Museum in Queens.

Posted February 2011