Joel Mesler Featured in ARTnews

Joel Mesler Featured in ARTnews

Highlighting the ART FOR CHANGE artist's recent work

Joel Mesler’s “Pool Party” exhibition at Rockefeller Center. Image courtesy of Art Production Fund. Photo: Daniel Greer.

ARTnews writer Daniel Cassady visited Mesler’s exhibition at Rockefeller Plaza, where 30 Rock’s Ice Rink has become a “Mesler-designed pool party.” Along with the artist’s signature balloon letters, Mesler’s beach ball sculptures have been installed upon a water-inspired wallpaper, transforming the rink into a summer escape. On the perimeter of the pool, 193 flags, with phrases such as “HUGS,” “LOVE,” and JOY,” encompass the installation at 30 Rockefeller Park Plaza. 
In his 2020 limited edition print with ART FOR CHANGE, Let Live, Mesler explores similar juxtapositions and explorations of acceptance.

Joel Mesler’s paintings shed light on universal themes utilizing autobiography, humor, self-deprecation, and surprising compositional juxtapositions. Fueled by childhood memories, Mesler explores meditations on design and popular iconography. More recently, Mesler has explored the power of acceptance, allowing emotions—as well as the cultural forms in which they become constellated—to exist at the center of his project. Mesler incorporates new motifs in the patterned backgrounds that provide the foundation for each composition and experiments with rendering typography.


Let Live, 2020
Hand-pulled silkscreen print
36 x 30 inches

Limited edition of 45 with 10AP
Signed and numbered by the artist

Let Live is a prime example of Joel Mesler’s humorous, jubilant and graphic painting style. Layered leaves in verdant tones weave through the canvas through and around a red snake with a hand at one end, which holds a sun toward the right corner. Line is defined by the light negative space, filling in details through absence and imploring the viewer to “Let Live” in a theatrical script. The edges and curves of the snakes and leaves are echoed in the script creating fluid movement throughout the composition, which seems interrupted by the stark lightness of the yellow circle. 

Passionate about the environment, Joel Mesler notes, "Obviously we have all seen that without a healthy environment and earth very little else works. It is the source where everything grows. We need it and must love and respect it ... we should just get out of the way and let live!"



 Joel Mesler holding his limited edition print, Let Live (2020).



Joel Mesler’s limited edition print, Let Live (2020).



Joel Mesler was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1974 and lives and works in Sag Harbor, NY. He received his MFA from San Francisco Art Institute. Since opening his first gallery, Dianne Pruess in Los Angeles, CA in 2000, he has worked as both a dealer and an artist. He has operated several galleries over the past two decades, including Feuer/Mesler in New York, NY, Untitled in New York, NY, and Rental Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY and East Hampton, NY. He lives and works in Sag Harbor, NY with his wife and three children.

Recent Exhibitions include Sand Paintings, Patrick De Brock Gallery, Art Brussels (2020), Show Schmo, Harper’s Books, New York, NY (2020), Portrait Paintings, Frieze New York (2019), Portrait Paintings, White Columns Booth, Independent Art Fair (2019), The Alphabet of Creation (For Now), Simon Lee Gallery, London (2018); Most of it is my Money, Harper’s Book, New York, NY (2018); Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2017); The Estate of Joel Mesler, presented by Cultural Counsel at NADA, NY (2016); Fish People, presented by Sotheby’s S2 and Cultural Counsel at the Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY (2016).

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