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Joe Max Emminger





I can really focus on the work when I am at Building 30. There are very few distractions there. I come every day for 3 or 4 hours and paint. I like being around the other artists. There is contact if you want it, but lots of privacy if you want it. It is a calm environment.


I wasn’t trained as an artist, but I picked up the habit of making art from being around other artists. It turned into the center of my life for the last fifty years. I am a curious person. I make sense of things that I hear, see and feel by painting. Painting for me is not optional; I can’t turn it off.


During the pandemic I have still been coming every day. The forced isolation has made me realize how much time I already spent alone working. That hasn’t changed at all - the world around it has.


Right now I’m painting some jittery people in the city. I’m sure it has to do with the virus, because there is nothing but the virus in terms of information coming to me. It’s out there, so it will come out in the painting. I am not setting out to paint virus paintings - but I am always painting the world in some way. Right now that is the world we live in.

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