Joe C. Rock
Joe C. Rock, 25, was hanging his eye-popping art on the walls of The Daily Bagel on a recent afternoon when he caught our attention. His work will be on exhibit at the café through the month of November, with a reception at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 28. Check it out at The Daily Bagel, 495 Morrill Ave., www.thedailybagel.net. Or find him on Facebook as Joseph Corgile.
Tell me about your art.
I’ve always drawn and did doodling and learned how to write really early, and my mom always had me with a pencil. And I just did stuff throughout high school and took art classes, but graffiti got me into it. My older cousin did graffiti a lot, and I wanted to be like him, and I learned from that. My friend Caedron Burchfield in town gave me a bunch of canvases—he was doing arts shows at that time—so that’s when I started painting on canvas. I did an art show at XOXO of little stuff. Then last year, in February, I did my first show at Java Jungle with my friend Hernan [Borerro]. After that, I started trying to do art shows every month. I’m doing a mural at Junkee and at Ace Hardware, where the (con)Temporary Gallery was. I talked to Erik [Burke] and asked if it was OK I painted over that. He said, “Good, they need something new.” I felt like a jerk, but I got his blessing for that. And I got stuff upstairs at the Knitting Factory.
Is most of your work like what we’re seeing here?
I could do portraiture and graffiti and found I could incorporate the two. The October show at Java Jungle was like graffiti surreal-style. Like I had spray cans turned into little monsters. I go to the bookstore, Grassroots, and get all the art books I can. So the last show was Dali-inspired. I want to be like him but 2010—portraiture that’s cartoony. Now I have a camera, and I’m trying to do photography. I want to do every medium possible, pretty much.
The band Who Cares is having [had] a CD release party on Nov. 20. With Ernie [Upton], we’re going to do an art show pretty much—a CD release and an art show up for the month at West Street Market.
Describe for readers what we’re looking at here.
In here, they had the fire hydrant theme, so I took that and went my direction with it, intertwining grafitti on a fake brick wall—bringing a scene from the streets indoors. Bringing the outside indoors.
Is there anything you want to add?
I try to produce the highest quality, most affordable art possible. I try to make it my job, so if I work for an hour, I charge $10-$20. I’d rather have someone have my art than sell it at an outrageous price.
You say that now.
Yeah, I say that now. But later I might work on a piece longer and charge like $1,000 for it. … I was a sponsored skateboarder, so I got the skateboards [some of his work is painted on skateboards] pretty much for free. About 50-60 percent of my materials are recycled materials—old wood and skateboards.