Gwyn Joy lives and works in Brooklyn. His work explores the roles nature, solitude, and asceticism play in humanity’s search for spirituality, religion and truth.
Using oil paint and collage Joy creates images that investigate what lies just beyond the boundaries of our day to day realm and how we escape it in a metaphysical sense through extreme isolation, dream states, and interactions with our environment and the appropriation of natural objects of power.
Gwyn is highly interested in the anthropomorphic representation of animals in the form of masks in which the wearer is transported to a more naturalistic state of being and assumes the power and prestige of the animal. While donning the mask his subjects are stripped of their previous identity and brought closer to the realm of their environment. It is only in a state of solitude and in a state of complete immersion with their surroundings that awareness is heightened.
Raised in Oregon, Gwyn's interests in masks arose while working with the Tlingit Indian tribe in Alaska before graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York.