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Joseph Staples

“When you compare pictures of people and abstract pictures, I think people feel the representational is the easiest to understand. But I can’t think of anything more abstract than people.”


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Professional title:

Visual artist

What do you do?

I try to think of myself as a visual cover band, making contemporary fan art, to think about love, relationships and disappointment.


My work uses photographs, especially of the famous, to think about the way we create them meaning of the images around us. Photographs are weird, I'm interested in how they move around and how we help them.

What should we read?

Writings by Agnes Martin. A book about beauty and the space between the perfection in our minds and our work. DM me for a PDF, very hard to find and very expensive when you can. Along these lines is In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichiro Tanazaki and Arranging Things by Leonard Koren.