Joe Wallace Artist Statement

Joe Wallace Photographer ArtistThe urban landscape is filled with patterns, grids, shapes, and repetition. Whether you’re in New York City, Tokyo,  Chicago, or anywhere else with that type urban sprawl, the sheer density of buildings, cars, people, and streets creates an overwhelming amount of visual information to process. That information is a metaphor for life in the city, and it’s an experience I try to recreate.

The feelings of movement, isolation, loneliness, and voyeurism one gets in the city is a very important part of my work. Glimpses of people, shapes, patterns, moods, experiences sail past us on the street, on the subway, in the taxicab on the way to the airport, everywhere you need to be in the city, leaving it, or returning.

The city is awash in the smells of food, beer, exhaust fumes. The sounds of the streets are forever ebbing and flowing. Our time on the pavement on the way to and from our struggles and triumphs is punctuated by boozy hours, random encounters in the night, the tyranny of the alarm clock, the kiss goodbye, or the lack of one. The skipped breakfast, the hurried lunch, the wondering what happens tonight.

My work is about urban alienation, the pressure of the city, the contradictory feelings of anticipation and dread, the joys, the need, the unpleasantness and the excitement of the urban sprawl. Where do we go in this vast metropolis to get away from the crush of humanity, or even ourselves? How do we find connections to others in the emptiness of city living? Who shares their joy and how? Where does it all lead? The neon and glass storefronts reflect your face as you walk by, but is that who you are?

Some of what I do is about answering these questions–whether that is in the work itself, or in the process of showing it to others and finding a middle ground with fellow travelers in the concrete jungle. The city is indifferent to our wants, our lusts and our joys, but it is also a place where we can meet together to share a moment in the shadow of the tinted glass towers.

–Joe Wallace

Contact me at for collaboration, commissions, or other proposals.


Artwork, sound design, and video