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Joshua Gabriel Nissen King

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Biloxi, Mississippi

Lives in
San Francisco

Works in
San Francisco


California State University, San Francisco, 2010, BFA

surrealism, landscape, realism, arts-education mixed-media, abstract, figurative, conceptual

Statement and CV


Artist Statement

We all employ defense mechanisms to guard what resides in the depths of us. Whether these façades are intentional or not they still exist. We wear many masks depending on our surroundings; we are chameleons in that sense. In my paintings, the figures get pushed back into space as flat color dictates their immediacy. The atmosphere is abstract and ambiguous, lending little information as to the context of the figure.

I work on canvas and wood panel using acrylic and oil paints. I start with undirected action painting to create the ground. Then, with the use of glazes, I proceed to push areas back and bring some forward. This creates an atmosphere the figures occupy, rendering only some areas realistically while leaving others more mysterious and undefined.

The manner in which the figure is painted combines the deconstruction of shape and color, light and shadow, with that of something more realistic. Fragments of the arms or face will be painted more defined where other areas may trail off. The final shattered image is a metaphor for the way in which we—like chameleons—obscure our identities.

curriculum vitae 



BORN            Biloxi, Mississippi

Lives and works in San Francisco, CA


2010     BFA, California State University, San Francisco, CA

2005     Oxbow School for the Arts, Napa, CA. Studied with Raymond Saunders

2003     California State Summer School For the Arts, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA


2008    Martin Wong Scholarship in Painting, San Francisco, CA

2005    Mondavi Foundation Grant, Napa, CA


2012    Small Things, Merchants of Reality. San Francisco, CA (group)

            Non-Erotica, Merchants of Reality. San Francisco, CA (group)

            HERstory, African American Arts and Culture Center. San Francisco, CA (group)

2011     Chillin Productions Holiday Art Show, Mezzanine. San Francisco, CA (group)

             King Love Ventures (buildout and mural), Paolo Shoes. San Francisco, CA 

             Deepest Darkest, D-Structure. San Francisco, CA (group)

             1st Year Retrospective, “O” Gallery. San Francisco CA (group)

             From Caves Waves and Cosmia, Merchants of Reality. San Francisco, CA 

             Merchants of Reality, San Francisco, CA

             Wonderland SF 1yr Anniversary, San Francisco, CA (group)

             Shanty Haus, Cafe Royale, San Francisco, CA

             Pictures from a Floating World, Cafe Royale. San Francisco, CA

             Chillin’ Productions 13th Annual, Mezzanine, San Francisco, CA

             Conjunction Junction, Greenhouse, San Francisco, CA (collaborate: Chris Love)

2010     Chillin Productions Holiday Show, Mezzanine, San Francisco, CA (group)

             A Slightly Brackish Brewish Hue, OZ Gallery, San Francisco, CA (collaboration)

             Creativity Cultivated, Napa Valley Museum, Yountville, CA

             New Beginnings, Studio 35, San Francisco, CA

2009     Stillwell, Fine Arts Gallery, California State University, San Francisco, CA

             Salon de Refuse, Martin Wong Gallery, California State University, San Francisco, CA

             Palette Punks, Greenhouse, San Francisco, CA

2008     Salon de Refuse, Martin Wong Gallery, California State University, San Francisco

2007     Stillwell, Fine Arts Gallery, California State University, San Francisco

2006     Recycle, Caf la Vie, San Francisco, CA (group)

             Unfinished Thoughts, Mama, San Francisco, CA (solo)


2010     Editor, Vintage Alumnus in Spotlight at Art ShowNapa Register, August 31

2006     Editor, Rising Stars Napa Register, January 23


2011      Founder/Director Merchants of Reality, San Francisco, CA. 

2010      Shanty Ship Art Collective, San Francisco, CA

              Art Cave Collective, San Francisco CA

              Local 365 Collective, San Francisco CA

2008-10 California State University, San Francisco, CA. Printmaking Guild Officer


2010       Instructor, Screen-Printing Workshop, California State University, San Francisco, CA

2010       Live Painting, Blue Macaw, San Francisco, CA

2010       Live Painting, $3 Dollar Legends, Gallery Heist, San Francisco, CA

2008       Arts and Crafts Director, Camp Howe, Goshen, MA

2007       Instructor, Screen-Printing workshop, Oxbow School of the Arts, Napa, CA


Recent Exhibits

Joshua Gabriel Nissen King participated in these exhibits:

Dec, 2011 Retrospective - a year at the O
O Gallery
Exhibited with these artists
Exhibited at these venues
Joshua Gabriel Nissen King has Exhibited at these venues:

O Gallery
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