Picassoid (2019), perforated paper collage.

Joel Carreiro

B.F.A. '71

Picassoid (2019), perforated paper collage.

Art Remix: Transforming Familiar Artwork Through Collage

By Grace Sachi Troxell, M.F.A. '21

For alumnus Joel Carreiro (B.F.A. '71), the choice to become an artist was a natural one. Both of his parents went to art school, and so his interest in art was cultivated from a young age. "I was brought up in the arts and crafts and design world," he reflects. Carreiro grew up in the now-historic district of Greenbelt Knoll in Northeast Philadelphia, but when his father accepted a job as chair of the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell, the family moved to Ithaca. Carreiro was 16. He attended Ithaca High School, and following graduation, chose to stay in the area and pursue a degree in fine arts at Cornell. 

At AAP, Carreiro had a concentration in painting but did his fair share of printmaking as well. One particularly influential painting class was Norman Daly's Color, Form, and Space. Meanwhile, Carreiro's printmaking professor, Stephen Poleskie, painted a romantic picture of New York City, and as a junior, Carreiro decided to participate in AAP's New York City program (AAP NYC). He had an apartment in the East Village, and as part of the program, he was able to visit the studios of prominent artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Indiana.

When Cornell's Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art opened in 1973, Carreiro, with his classmate Ellen Rothenberg, approached the founding director of the museum, Thomas Leavitt, about the possibility of putting on a group exhibition. Cayuga Exotica thus came to fruition; it was a show by a group of Cornell alumni who had worked together and influenced each other for years. 

vintage photo of an art installation with lots of sculptures at the Herbert Johnson Museum of Art

Various works (1972–1974), enamel on wood, enamel on styrofoam, synthetic fur, plastics, installation view of the exhibition Cayuga Exotica (1974), Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY.

After Cayuga Exotica, Carreiro left Ithaca for New York City. He attended Hunter College and graduated with his M.F.A. in 1982, an exciting time at Hunter, as the college was then hiring artists instead of educators. Though such a wide distinction doesn't exist today, this was radical at the time. Critiques were held in students' loft studios throughout the city, and the school was immersed in the New York City art scene.   

Carreiro began teaching at Hunter in 1986, and remains there today. For 18 years, he was the director of the MFA program for the art department, and throughout his time as a professor, Carreiro encouraged students to realize their own methodology with an emphasis on preserving imagination and intuition. As of fall 2020, he was adjusting to the online teaching landscape by creating lectures on collage to teach to his students via Zoom. "What we have is intense camaraderie where we help each other," says Carreiro about the community at Hunter as they innovated around the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A man speaking to a room full of people

Joel Carreiro (center) speaking in Latvia.

As an artist, Carreiro has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. He has shown at the Brooklyn Museum, MoMA PS1, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, the Art Academy of Latvia in Riga, Clara M. Eagle Galleries, Lesley Heller Gallery, and elsewhere. Carreiro is ultimately a collage artist. For over 25 years, the starting point for his work has been preexisting imagery, and for many years he created work through heat transfers. Originally a technique for surface design, this process enabled him to deconstruct and reassemble other artists' imagery. The process started with his interest in the Renaissance and has been driven by his love of a variety of source materials, ranging from medieval manuscript illumination to Mughal imagery. For Carreiro, collage becomes a recycling process, whereby the familiar becomes defamiliarized through layering, cutting, and accumulation.  

collaged drawings full of photos of artworks, scribbled text, a photo of a man in the back of a car both in black and white and color

Excerpts from Joel Carreiro's Drawing Journals, Selections 1975–1979.

Carreiro showed his Picassoid works at the Westchester Community College Fine Arts Gallery in early 2020. The artworks featured in this exhibition essentially make a new image out of two existing Picasso paintings. The third image—Carreiro's creation—is reminiscent of its predecessors, but blending these two images transforms them. It is in this liminal space that Carreiro's work lives: "He [Picasso] stole from everybody gleefully. I'm gleefully stealing from him."

Website: JoelCarreiro.com

Projects


Drawing Journals, Selections 1975–1979

Figure 1.

Figure 1

Figure 2.

Figure 2

Figure 3.

Figure 3

Figure 4.

Figure 4

Figure 5.

Figure 5

Figure 6.

Figure 6


Series 1, 1971–1976

Untitled (1971), enamel on wood, 40" x 66".

Untitled (1971)

Garden (1974), enamel on styrofoam, synthetic fur plastics, 44" x 60".

Garden (1974)

Various works (1972–74), enamel on wood, enamel on styrofoam, synthetic fur, plastics, installation view of the exhibition Cayuga Exotica (1974), Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, New York.

Various works (1972–74), installation view

Untitled (1976), pastel on paper, 36" x 140".

Untitled (1976)

Untitled (1976), pastel on paper, 42" x 142".

Untitled (1976)


Series 2, 1981-1983

Various works, dry pigments on paper pulp, each 30" x 142", installation view of an exhibition (1981), Cayman Gallery, New York.

Various works, installation view (1981)

How Deep is Deep (1981), dry pigments on paper pulp, 30" x 142".

How Deep is Deep (1981)

Divers (1981), dry pigments on paper pulp, 30 x 142".

Divers (1981)


Series 3, 1996-2009

Peter Pan (1996), heat transfer imagery on birch panel, 45" x 67", collection of Lucas Colbert Carreiro.

Peter Pan (1996)

Echolalia (2001), Bellefleur (2004), Ecstatic (2005), heat transfer imagery on birch panel, installation view of an exhibition, Rockland Center for the Arts (2008), West Nyack, New York.

Echolalia (2001), Bellefleur (2004), Ecstatic (2005)

Time Being (2007), heat transfer imagery on birch panel, 95" x 88".

Time Being (2007)

Zemblan (2008), heat transfer imagery on birch panel, 62" x 83".

Zemblan (2008)

Grotto (2009), heat transfer imagery on birch panel, 88" x 94".

Grotto (2009)


Series 4, 2009-2011

Leviathan (2009), heat transfer imagery on birch panel, 20" x 24".

Leviathan (2009)

Realm (2010), heat transfer imagery on birch panel, 20" x 24", collection Marcy Rosewater and Mark Gibian.

Realm (2010)

All Possible Dreams (2010), heat transfer imagery on birch panel, 20" x 24".

All Possible Dreams (2010)

The Golden Shore (2011), heat transfer imagery on birch panel, 20" x 24".

The Golden Shore (2011)

Reef (2011), heat transfer imagery on birch panel, 20" x 24".

Reef (2011)


Series 5, 2019

Picassoid (2019), perforated paper collage, 7" x 12".

Picassoid (2019)

Picassoid (2019), perforated paper collage, 8" x 10".

Picassoid (2019)

Picassoid (2019), perforated paper collage, 6" x 9".

Picassoid (2019)

Picassoid (2019), perforated paper collage, 8" x 12".

Picassoid (2019)

Picassoid (2019), perforated paper collage, 8" x 10".

Picassoid (2019)


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