articles
todd
camplin
2014
JOSHUA KING
by Todd Camplin

Many artists stay in their studios, producing a bit of art and showing a little here or there. Other
artists are wild self-promoters with little regard for what they take from others. There are the
Sunday painters, the friend promoters, the international stars, and various other categories in
between. But there is a distinctive breed of artists that seek a wider audience through focused
engagement. This breed creates an inclusive atmosphere or an event in order to promote a
greater local art scene, while maintaining a good studio discipline.  Artist Joshua King fits this
last category.
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blindsided by his objects.  They looked like he had pink powdercoated found objects. When
I asked King about it, he called the process flocking. King’s sculptures were some of the most
memorable pieces in that show, and this was two years ago. I remember that I first was
repulsed and attracted to the surface of his pieces. I’d never seen a sculpture that
attracted me to touch it while also giving me a feeling of great pause on whether this would
cause possible injury to my skin. Turns out, if touched, the microfibers would damage the
work or at least as King says, unbalance the work. King is not repeating a kind of Duchamp
readymade, nor is he another Post-Modern Neo-Dada, but he is invoking Duchamp’s ideas
with a modern twist. Like the piece he had at the SMU-TED event, he brought in old hand
powered water pumps and painted them a very alarming bright red color. TED events
gather people to discuss solutions to problems in society. King’s work brings attention to the
impending fresh water crisis in order to further the  discussion and spur people to think about
possible solutions. Imagine, 52 billion gallons of  wastewater is processed by Dallas alone.
Each of his hand pumps represented a billion gallons.
object come to mean in another context. This shift of focus makes King’s work more topical
and less philosophically abstract. Much of King’s work reminds me of that Warholian mass
production approach, only King thinks like the contemporary consumer. He wants to
customize and make the everyday object personal. By doing so, these over customized
objects go to the purely absurd level. He makes them no longer functional and
consequently King has moved his objects into becoming art.  
Along with Shane Pennington and Veletta Forsythe Lill, Joshua King founded the AURORA event
in Dallas. The seed of the idea started with Pennington and King wanting to extend the Cedars
Open Studio Tour into the night. The event expanded to the Old City Park with nearly 40 artists
in new media, sound, and projection. Each year this event has gotten larger in number of
attendees and artists participating. The biennial event has attracted artists from around the
world. All three artists had a vision to make Dallas an international art city and AURORA was
the kind of event to put Dallas on the map.

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