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Speak into the Mic with Joshua Roman

Kassandra Ramirez


Being a visual artist and curator for Contagion's visual arts blog, I am constantly observing my environment and the web for unique creators whose work inspires me to take my own creations to the next level. Simply scrolling down my feed on Instagram, I came across Joshua Roman's piece, "Just Breathe," and was left in awe. His beautiful piece truly took my breathe away. 

Based in California, Joshua Roman undoubtedly breaks artistic boundaries with his intriguing use of vibrant lines and swirls. Creating in the style of Figurative Realism, Roman takes viewers to a different dimension. With art displayed in galleries from Portugal to New York, I see Roman's art quickly capturing the eyes of the masses. For this reason, I felt it necessary to share his eccentric pieces via Contagion Media.

The following interview has been edited for clarity.

What inspired you to start creating?

I have been creating art since I was a young child. I am not sure what inspired me to start, probably just the creative drive that all children have, and luckily it never diminished.


What is your favorite medium

It varies. I have gone through several transitions of mediums, but at the moment I love working with marker and am enjoying the possibilities in working with resin layering.

Are there any artists who influence your work?

 I am influenced by many things. As far as artists, go most of my inspirations aren't about the art they create but more about their journey and overall talent. That being said I think the biggest direct influence on my work is Chuck Close. He inspired me to push the boundaries of what a portrait had to be.

Describe your artistic style in just a few words.

My style is Figurative Surrealism, which is a fancy way of saying I create portraits and figurative pieces using non traditional techniques.

What message do you want your art to spread? 

I want people to understand that skin color, and the body in genera,l is just a mask. We are all made up of so much more, we are beings of energy made from stardust. I try to show that in my pieces.


What is the power of art?

Art has the power to change the world.

Who, in your opinion, is the most iconic painter of all time? 

Pure iconography would be Andy Warhol probably. Everyone, no matter what their level of art knowledge, knows his soup cans

Do you have a muse? 

Yes multiple, but not all are traditional muses. Some are objects or photos and some are people I have never met.

Why do you create art?  

I am not sure I really have a choice. My brains default is to dissect and create things. 

Where do you see yourself as an artist in five years time? 

I don't have a set plan for where I want it to improve, as long as it gets better which always seems to be the case.


What advice do you have for any aspiring artists?

Just keep at it. Artistic talent is made up of two things: natural ability, which is mainly just being creative and having original ideas, and technique, which is a learn-able skill but takes dedication and practice. Every artist you love started out horrible and refined their skills over years and years of practice and mistakes.

Discover more by Joshua Roman