Joseph Isaac (b.1994 Sydney, Australia)
Joseph Isaac is a Sydney-based, cross-disciplinary artist working across painting, sculpture, photography, installation, virtual reality and other various technologies. Joseph is particularly interested in the experience of a young Jew in the contemporary multicultural Australia context seeking to form a contemporary, conceptually informed view on the Judaica art form. Whilst Inspired by specific Sydney urban sites and histories, from being the son of a Rabbi, and leaving the faith at the age of eighteen. Joseph explores the key themes of place, tradition, cultural memory, and ancestry through an investigation of his own Australian Hassidic upbringing and his current agnostic viewpoint.
Joseph’s first solo Exhibition in 2014 was inspired by Sydney’s streetscapes creating energetically vivid images of an abstract Sydney. He then went on to curate the show ‘Gravitas’ in 2016 featuring fellow Sydney artists and has exhibited in group shows at Ambush gallery, amongst many others.
He is a finalist of the Muswellbrook art prize as well as receiving a grant to create a public sculpture for Nox sculpture walk with Randwick council in 2019.
While his early works drew on experimental gestures of figures and streetscapes of Sydney under the name of Yossi, his current work uses Judaica items, Jewish artefacts, and his understanding of the Torah to develop works through which he attempts to understand his flux state of agnosticism. Through his work the artist gives thoughtful critique to our social systems and beliefs, pushing communities to engage thoughtfully, generating dialog and make steps toward social progress through documenting human and spatial scapes to expressing collective emotions.
Joseph is currently studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), majoring in Sculpture, Performance and Installation at UNSW Art & Design. Through his work, Joseph continues to move forward into Conceptual Art and his Australian Jewish heritage to create works that engage with the community.