Joe Angel, (Le Joe as he is known within his community), makes surrealist acrylic paintings inspired by his childhood, psychological observations, a fascination with metaphysical concepts, various social structures, and from emotional experiences both personal and observed.
Joe Jeremy Angel-Toledo was born and raised in Sacramento, CA, the oldest of three boys. His mother immigrated from El Salvador, his father from Mexico. His parents divorced when he was age 10. In 2016 Angel moved to Salinas, CA where he now resides. This exhibition is a collaboration between Hartnell College Gallery and the Alisal Center for the Fine Arts where Angel was Artist in Residence during 2020-2021. He writes:
“I began painting when I was about 19 and also in a relationship. The relationship brought me much joy and painting helped me capture all the emotions I was feeling. However, the relationship ended and I spiraled into depression. I was mourning a broken heart, but more deeply, other feelings emerged from my childhood, school experiences, and my parents’ divorce. The heartbreak triggered deeper emotions than I had ever faced .
I used painting as my therapy to heal from trauma. I’d use bright colors and strong imagery to release suppressed emotions. Painting also helped me rflect on pain and remind me of hard times. It is a visual documentation that helps me capture the highs and lows of my life.”