There are many recurring themes and subjects in Joe Becker’s work: corrupted innocence, notions of nostalgia, decay, and mass-marketed characters and icons of his youth. These themes have remained important to his practice throughout the years for a variety of reasons. They are part of our shared social and cultural anxieties. The work takes many forms. Visceral composites plundered from cartoons, humor magazines, horror movies, VHS covers, video games, Topps trading cards, and illustrations from childhood all mix together into a primordial stew. The resulting efforts create an agitated universe besieged with agonizing gluttony, toilet humor, wacky scenarios, and rich amalgams of personal and cultural detritus. The repetition of artifacts and codified characters—each with their own assigned proclivities—exist within a space that is loaded with red herrings, inside jokes, and jumbled memories.
Recently, Joe Becker has exhibited his work at The Phi Centre, Montréal (2013), as well as in exhibitions in New York, London, Leipzig and Los Angeles. His work has been included in Carte Blanche Vol 2. Painting, The MOCCA, Toronto (2009). His paintings can be found in many private and corporate collections in Canada and the U.S. including the Absolut Collection – M.O.M.A. New York. He has participated in numerous international art fairs including: Aqua Miami, Pulse L.A., Scope New York, Scope Miami, ARCO Madrid, and DC Duesseldorf Contemporary. He is the recipient of the 2013 Tom Hopkins Memorial Graduate Award and the 2014 Lillian Vineberg Graduate Award. Becker received his BFA from OCADU in 2003 and MFA in drawing and painting from Concordia University in 2015.