On Melissa Joseph

On Melissa Joseph

Highlighting the artist's practice and newly released edition with ART FOR CHANGE

Melissa Joseph pictured in front of her “Art in Focus” exhibition at 45 Rockefeller Plaza. Image courtesy of Art Production Fund. Photo: Daniel Greer.

Melissa Joseph is interested in connecting people through collective memory and shared experiences. Her multimedia practice addresses themes of diaspora, family histories and the politics of how individuals occupy spaces. ArtNet writer Annikka Olsen recently spoke with Melissa Joseph about her recent exhibition, her show at Margot Samel, her first-ever public art exhibition, and her process. “I love needle felting,” Joseph says, “because it’s painterly, and I have more control over the needles.” On her primary sources of inspiration, she notes that memory, familial history, and autobiography remain consistent throughout her practice.

In her 2021 limited edition print with ART FOR CHANGEAunties Inside, Joseph explores similar themes of culture and familial structures.


Aunties Inside, 2021
17.25 x 24 inches
Archival pigment print

Limited edition of 10
Hand-embellished, signed and numbered by the artist

Limited edition of 20 with 4AP
Signed and numbered by the artist

Aunties Inside 
features four of the artist’s father’s sisters in India, as a visual exploration of the understated yet integral role that aunts play within the family structures of many cultures. The image, which casts the women seated together as though they were holding court, derives from a photograph taken by the artist during a visit to her grandmother’s home. As in other works within her practice, Joseph’s depiction is intended to inspire consideration of the ways that her chosen subjects occupy space. For the hand-embellished prints, the artist has included elements such as fabric and Indian embroidery mirrors that her aunts gifted her. 

Melissa Joseph holding her limited edition print, Aunties Inside (2021).

Installation view of Melissa Joseph’s public exhibition with Art Production Fund at 45 Rockefeller Center.

At 45 Rockefeller Plaza, Joseph’s felted work is showcased in a 125-foot-long display, documenting details from felt pieces based on personal archive photos. On the artist’s first public art exhibition, she adds that the work “lets [her] reach an audience you can’t always reach [...] with the world.”




Melissa Joseph is an artist and independent curator interested in connecting people through shared memories and experiences. Her work addresses themes of family history, diaspora, and the politics of how we occupy both physical and emotional spaces. Melissa’s work has been shown at The Delaware Contemporary, Woodmere Art Museum, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and featured in Hyperallergic, New American Paintings, as well as Artmaze. She is represented by REGULAR*NORMAL.

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