About

About Joel Rea

 

Joel Rea is a highly acclaimed and multi award-winning artist known for his surreal, allegorical paintings. Rea’s oil on canvas works stand somewhere between genres of hyperrealism, photorealism and virtuosic Renaissance realism. From this amalgamation of influences, Rea has created a unique and recognisable style portraying social awareness and personal introspection through his impeccable execution of brush work detail. Inspired by the mysteries of the animal kingdom and the Universe beyond, Rea’s meanings and narratives touch on the vast complexity of the human condition, presenting messages embracing the ageless turmoil of human inner consciousness and our species’ unwavering desire to survive. Rea combines contemporary visuals with qualities of the sublime in painting, provoking the deepest possible emotional response through technically achieved aesthetics. His imagery frequently depicts: self-portraits; tigers; dogs; sun rays coming through clouds; and destructive waves inspired by the turbulent Australian coastline where he played as a child.

In an article for the Huffington Post, Brandon Kralik writes – ‘Representational painting today is not what it used to be and cannot be dismissed as longing for the past or harkening back to the Romantics of the 19th century. Although Rea’s work shares an aesthetic with Romanticism this is not about going back at all. They take from the past and move us toward tomorrow. He calls himself a Contemporary Surrealist Painter. Wikipedia describes Contemporary art as having developed from Postmodern art and although Joel Rea is very much alive and is dealing with issues of our present time, his work is far removed from the multimedia and purely conceptual work that has come to define Postmodernism and much of what is referred to as Contemporary art. To me Rea’s work moves in separate direction, one that is reconstructive, or Post Contemporary, as it places importance on craftsmanship and empathy. One thing for certain is that Rea’s paintings speak in a language where such words are not needed at all. There need be no artspeak to accompany them, to tell the viewer what is happening. The paintings speak for themselves.’

 

CV

Joel Rea

b.1983

Lives and works on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Studies

2001 – 2003

Bachelor of Fine Art Graduate, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University

 


AWARDS & PRIZES

2021 Finalist, Lester Prize for Portraiture, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

2020 Awarded the Vice Chancellor Portrait Commission for The University of Sydney permanent collection.

2020 Finalist, Brisbane Portrait Prize, The Powerhouse, Brisbane

2020 Finalist, Lethbridge 20000 Art Award, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

2019 Winner, Brisbane Portrait Prize, People’s Choice Award, The Powerhouse, Brisbane

2018 Finalist, Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney

2016 Finalist, Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Juniper Hall, Sydney

2016 Finalist, Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney

2014 Winner, Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, People’s Choice Award, Perth

2014 Finalist, Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

2013 Winner, ANL Maritime Art Award, Melbourne

2013 Finalist, Fleurieu Art Prize, Adelaide

2013 Finalist, Salon Des Refuses, Archibald Prize, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

2013 Finalist, Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, Perth

2012 Semi-Finalist, Moran Portrait Prize, Sydney

2012 Highly Commended, Clayton Utz Art Award, Brisbane

2011 Highly Commended, Metro Art Award, Metro Gallery, Melbourne

2011 Winner, Gold Coast Rotary Young Achiever in Vocational Excellence, Fine Art

2011 Finalist, Prometheus Visual Art Award, Gold Coast

2011 Finalist, Clayton Utz Art Award, Brisbane

2010 Finalist, Metro Art Award, Metro Gallery, Melbourne

2010 Finalist, Redland Gallery Art Award, Biennial Contemporary Painting Competition, Cleveland

2003 Awarded Golden Key International Honour Society membership for outstanding scholastic achievement and excellence.

2003 Granted the Griffith Award for academic excellence in Fine Art, Queensland College of Art.

 


EXHIBITIONS

2021

Lester Prize for Portraiture, Finalists Exhibition, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

HOFA London, House of Fine Art Group Exhibition, Mayfair, London, UK

2020

University of Sydney Portrait Collection, Group Exhibition, The Great Hall, University of Sydney

Brisbane Portrait Prize, Finalists Exhibition, The Powerhouse, Brisbane

Lethbridge 20000, Finalists Exhibition, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

HOFA London, House of Fine Art Group Exhibition, Mayfair, London, UK

Art Wynwood, House if Fine Art Group Exhibition, Florida, USA

LA Art Show, House of Fine Art Group Exhibition, Los Angeles, USA

Antipodes, Beinart Gallery Group Exhibition, Melbourne

2019

Context Art Miami, House of Fine Art Group Exhibition, Miami, USA

Gaia – A Future Utopia, Beautiful Bizarre Group Exhibition, Urban Arts, Berlin, Germany

Brisbane Portrait Prize, Finalists Exhibition, The Powerhouse, Brisbane

2018

Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, Finalists Exhibition, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney

Director’s Choice, Group Exhibition, Mitchell Fine Art, Brisbane

Spring Preview, Group Exhibition, The Unit London Gallery, London, UK

LA Art Show, Group Exhibition, Jonathan LeVine Projects, Los Angeles, USA

2017

Solo Exhibition, Outsider, Mitchell Fine Art, Brisbane

Oceans Imaginaries, Group Exhibition, RMIT University Gallery, Melbourne

ArtStage Singapore, Mitchell Fine Art Group Exhibition, Singapore

Welcome To New Jersey, Inaugural Group Exhibition Opening Jonathan LeVine Projects, USA

Moran Portrait Prize Finalists Exhibition, Touring Australia Exhibition, Gosford & Canberra

Iconoclasts, Group Exhibition, Umbrella Contemporary Arts, Townsville, Queensland

Iconoclasts, Group Exhibition, Kick Arts Contemporary, Cairns, Queensland

2016

Juxtapoz Clubhouse, Jonathan LeVine Gallery Group Show, Miami, USA.

Director’s Choice, Group Exhibition, Mitchell Fine Art, Brisbane

Mosman Prize, Finalists Exhibition, Sydney

Moran Portrait Prize, Finalists Exhibition, Juniper Hall, Sydney

2015

Solo Exhibition, Beasts of Arcadia, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, USA

Paintguide, International Instagram Group Exhibition, The Unit Gallery, Soho, London, UK

Cutback: Surfing Through Art, Group Exhibition, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Gold Coast

2014

Solo Exhibition, Eternal, Gallery One, Gold Coast

Conquest of Space: Science Fiction and Contemporary Art, COFA, UNSW, Sydney

Based on Actual Events, Group Exhibition, Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York, USA

Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Solo Exhibition, The Other Side, Gallery One, Melbourne Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

Black Swan Portrait Prize, Finalists Exhibition, Perth

2013

Solo Exhibition, Beneath the Blue, Gallery One, Gold Coast

Another Time Another Place, Group Exhibition, Metro Gallery, Melbourne

Fleurieu Art Prize, Finalists Exhibition, Adelaide

Maritime Art Award, Finalists Exhibition, Melbourne

Black Swan Portrait Prize, Finalists Exhibition, Perth

Salon Des Refuses, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

2012

Solo Exhibition, Existence of Reality, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

Art on Art, Group Exhibition, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Gold Coast

San Diego Contemporary Art Fair, California, USA

Clayton Utz Art Award Finalists Exhibition, Brisbane

Art Melbourne 2012, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

2011

Metro Gallery Art Award Finalists Exhibition, Melbourne

Art Melbourne11, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

Clayton Utz Art Award Finalists Exhibition, Brisbane

Lethbridge 10000 Art Award Finalists Exhibition, Brisbane

Prometheus Visual Art Award Finalists Exhibition, Gold Coast

2010

Solo Exhibition, Monuments and Miniatures, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

Art Sydney10, Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney

Redland Gallery Art Award, Biennial Contemporary Painting Competition, Finalists Exhibition, Cleveland

Metro Art Award Finalists Exhibition, Metro Gallery, Melbourne

Group Exhibition, Astras Galleries, Gold Coast

Netanya Resort Conference, Hastings Street, Noosa

2009

Solo Exhibition, The Balance Divine, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

New Paintings, Coda Gallery, Palm Desert, California, USA

Art Melbourne 09, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

New Paintings, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

2008

Art Sydney08, Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney

Art Brisbane08, Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane

Art Melbourne08, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

New Paintings, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

2007

Solo Exhibition, Where There’s Fire, Art Melbourne07, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

Art Sydney07, Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney

New Paintings, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

Art Melbourne07, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

2006

Solo Exhibition, High Fidelity, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

Sajen Legal Art Show, Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast

Art Melbourne06, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

New Paintings, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

St. Margaret’s Art Show, Ascot, Brisbane

Art Sydney06, Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney

2005

Brisbane Art Fair, Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane

Art Sydney05, Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney

Melbourne Affordable Art Show, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

New Paintings, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane

2004

Mentorship, Brett Lethbridge, Brisbane

Departure Lounge Group Exhibition, Gold Coast

Border Art Prize, Tweed River Art Gallery

 


TRAVEL/GALLERY RESEARCH

2008

Musee Du Louvre / Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France. The National Gallery, London, England. Guggenheim, Venice, Italy. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Uffizi Gallery / Galleria Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, Italy. Dali Museum, Barcelona, Spain.

2015

United States, New York City Residency and Solo Exhibition.