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Today, we are faced with unparalleled challenges in the human experience. Can we, as artists, cut through persistent illusions; to actually see what lies before us? Can we summon the courage to hunt down the unvarnished truth? Can our art open us to an honest dialogue about the times in which we live? Our very survival may depend upon the answers to these questions...

James Menzel Joseph

James Menzel Joseph

James Menzel Joseph Signature

By the time he returned home from his duties as a combat Marine in the Korean War, his beliefs and assumptions about every aspect of life had been shattered. This sent Menzel-Joseph on a truth-seeking journey that, in the telling, transcends time and personal narrative. He shares his observations and discoveries in a series of compelling and thought-provoking essays that accompany the beautifully reproduced paintings, sculptures, drawings, sketches, and machetes.

While the artwork provides a visual delight and stands as testimony to the talent of this prolific artist; the writings offer a glimpse into his mind and heart. Menzel-Joseph describes the creative process as, '"magical and fused with energy and passion." He believes that, "This, time-bending' creative experience has the power to transform who we are, and by extension, our world.

A tireless and passionate artist, He put aside his paint and clay to write this book. Once he began, he brought a fervor to this challenge; discovering the same creative unfolding in writing as in the other art forms he had been playing in; plunging into it heart and soul. "Once I got deeply into it, the writing became my meditation. I realized how deeply it was effecting my artwork, in extraordinary ways. My fondest wish is that my book affects my fellow artists and other seekers in equally inspiring ways."

Related to both Adolph Menzel, Germany's most prolific artist of the nineteenth century and to the French Symbolist, Henry Fantin-Latour, James Menzel-Joseph's innate artistic talent was recognized at an early age.

When he was fifteen, he received critical acclaim for his first mural. After returning home from combat duty in the Korean War, he graduated from the American Academy of Art, studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and later studied at the Art Students' League of New York.

Menzel-Joseph has won numerous honors and awards. While on the faculty of the American Academy of Art in Chicago, he was commissioned to do a series of paintings on Black History in America exhibited throughout the United States. Drawings of his experiences as a combat artist in the Korean War are also in the National Archives in Washington D. C.

He has exhibited in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Salmagundi club of New York, the Ojai Valley Museum, and the Carnegie Museum in Oxnard, CA. His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Time- Life Books, Playboy, the Chicago Tribune Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times Magazine.

His wide-ranging body of work speaks volumes of his commitment to the creative life. For the past decade, he has been teaching classes and workshops at The Ojai Center for the Arts and is a member of the Ojai Studio Artists in Ojai, CA. where he lives. Currently, Menzel-Joseph is completing two large bronze sculptural pieces, to be installed in Santa Barbara's Cottage Hospital.