Justin Kane Elder's multidisciplinary practice has tested many fields and genres. Initially using the familiarity of the face as a bridge to share his creative process. Driven by a simple directive to spread joy and inspire others with the knowledge that he has acquired. He creates color dense works that use relatability and obscurity in unison to capture accidental intentionality. His work is a celebration of inspiration and deep meaning, a timeline of experimentation and adaptation. Working in a state of perpetual motion, constantly reinventing and refining both thought and technique, his work continues to shift through the years yet holds the commonality of the face and the message of joy as a constant.
Elder is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts. He has exhibited across the United States and Canada. Showing at a variety of galleries, museums, art fairs, festivals, events, and conferences. Elder spent several years as a commercial artist working with small locally owned businesses and major corporations such as Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and many more, to inject artwork and culture into their workplace. Exploring ways to push art through non-traditional exposure. He has designed restaurants, pop-up events, public artworks, traveling art shows, event spaces, snowboards, skateboards, and various other products. His work has been featured on local and national TV, advertising campaigns, reality TV, viral videos, numerous magazines, restaurants, lectures, sporting goods, apparel, and much more.
He now resides in Hawaii. Utilizing his expansive range of experience to push the boundaries of his practice. While constantly exploring a wide format of platforms from commissioned works, new art series, written works, creative consultation, interior design, performance art, public speaking, and whatever sparks his curiosity. Currently, he is developing an array of projects; murals intended to uplift and inspire, a new body of large-scale oil paintings, a trilogy of books, three-dimensional portraits, a residency program, and more to be revealed in the coming future.
A portrait is more than just a face, it is a universal language that is hardwired into us from birth. The face is our first real connection to the world at large, teaching us lessons that lay the groundwork for what later becomes our reality. Communicating not only through words, but through emotion and expression as well. This is a fundamental reason why I have chosen portraiture as my artistic practice. To use the commonality of the face as a bridge to share inspiration.
Drawing upon mechanics found in psychology, marketing, and pop art, I find subjects that have passed a rigorous vetting process. Often spending years researching books, articles, documentaries, podcasts, and music until an emotional connection is built that allows me to accurately portray that individual's character. The primary directive within my practice is utilizing the psychology of association to expose people to stories of inspiration, while simultaneously providing a platform for experimentation and adaptation.
It is through constant trial and error my work has found itself. Every failure informs the next success and is adapted to mold future pieces, keeping the work in a constant state of flux. Experimenting with numerous motifs and mediums, the work has developed into a complex organism composed of many ingredients. The keystone ingredient is sharing stories of positivity, while inspiring, uplifting and motivating others to seek the same. Each piece is a celebration of vitality meant to spread joy and the comfort of peace.
May we all turn towards the sun to face it, only to see ourselves staring back.