Tag Archives: Joey Bates

OF MARROW & LEAF: New Paper Cuts and Reliefs by Joey Bates

Ghost Gallery: 504 E Denny Way | Seattle WA 98122

Of Marrow and Leaf: New Paper Cuts and Reliefs by Joey Bates

May 8, 2014 – June 9, 2014.

Joey Bates was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He received his BFA in painting in 2005 at Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, MI. Joey currently resides in Seattle, making art almost daily.

Artist Statement:
I find it compelling that some of the things we find beautiful and otherworldly can be so harmful to our well-being. As we trek through our yards, forests, and neighborhoods, we so often fail to acknowledge the plethora of plants that could wreak havoc on our innards.

Of Marrow and Leaf is a collection of cut paper pieces that explore the beauty of deadly plants in conjunction with the human figure. The central focus of my work has long been portraiture. I have traditionally practiced a highly particular dissection of the figure, and that breakdown resonates with the shapes and forms of plants.


"Castor Bean (Ricinus Communis)" by Joey Bates
“Castor Bean (Ricinus Communis)” by Joey Bates

My intention is for these images to evoke a sense of memento mori, the notion that death is constantly present. While the fragility of life is not a revolutionary idea, I value taking pause to reflect on this simultaneously vital and lethal fact. My hope is that these works inspire viewers to do so as well.

Check out this video by Christian Powers to find out more about Bates’ process and inspirations: