Joseph Vass goes back to basics, to create stunning, high-impact prints. In world where digital techniques proliferate, Vass’s hand drawn process is both refreshing and powerful. A lover of pen and brush, Vass meticulously sketches on a lightbox, before filling his images with washes of paint and ink. His work brings together typographical, hand drawn elements and bright, idealistic imagery, inviting his viewer into a utopian space of hazy colour and graphic composition.
With an eye for tonal harmony, Vass indulges in exquisite palettes, bringing his visions to life through the screen printing process. A roll call of clients includes Sky One, Film4, Giraffe Restaurants, and Somerset House, amongst others. With such a delightful portfolio of bold, beautiful and memorable prints, Vass’s name is one to watch.
Check out our Q&A with Joseph below!
What was the inspiration behind your new print ‘Tranquility’?
My new ‘Tranquility’ print was born out of the lockdown. I wanted to celebrate the human embrace at a time when lots of us had been isolated. My aim was to couple this with a sense of freedom and the outdoors that took the form of the floral collage in the background.
Do you see this work as a continuation of previous work or a series, or a new departure in your practice?
I have worked with this collage and overlay style before and it’s one I particularly enjoy. It lends itself really well to the silkscreen process... As you build up the layers of colour you start to see the interplay between Matt and gloss and the initial layers showing through to create really tactile artworks that really show that craft that goes into these prints.
Which artists inspire you, or you admire?
I’m big fan of Alexander Girard, he was an architect / textile designer in the 1950’s but very multidisciplinary working on all sorts of different projects... including branding a fleet of planes, chair design and textiles etc Geometric patterns and a wicked eye for colour combinations he is definitely one of my favourites, a true creative chameleon.
I really like the idea of being able to apply print to different genres - whether it’s a printed piece of fabric that ends up as a deck chair, a large metal sign or a fine art print on the wall, the possibilities are endless with screenprinting. Gary Hume also gets an honourable mention for his large scale paintings in gloss on aluminium which blew me away when I saw them a few years ago!
What is your earliest art memory?
Being taken to the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres by my parents... I’ve been obsessed with that lobster telephone ever since.
I am working on some new Silkscreen pieces as we speak... A new project inspired by my travels to the Caribbean and the Cook Islands - So expect a mellow slice of island life, a new edition and some metal originals. Watch this space!