Joe Velez is a Jersey City, N.J., native who, despite being born with an interest in the arts, didn't begin painting until the age of twenty-one. The self-taught artist's first works were expressionistic in nature yet still largely figurative. After developing a strong affinity for old master paintings, however, his style began to evolve. Museums became his university; the masters' brushstrokes, his professors. Through careful study of their techniques, Velez learned how to create more Realist work with the sacred air of Renaissance art, the dramatic tension and lighting found in the work of Baroque greats, all with subtle touches of Surrealism. His scenes contain imagery that are not impossible, but perhaps improbable.

Velez's paintings and drawings are included in art collections worldwide and he also does commissioned work including individual portraits, family portraits and landscapes. He's also executed murals for several Starbucks locations in Manhattan. Lastly, he has been teaching art for many years in New York City, Hoboken and Jersey City in formal education settings as well as through private art lessons.

- by Summer Dawn Hortillosa



"Authentic Art accomplishes it's worth in silence" - Marcel Proust

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” - Flaubert 

"Drawing is the artist's most direct and spontaneous expression, a species of writing: it reveals, better than does painting, his true personality." - Edgar Degas

"A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people." - Edgar Degas


The Downtown Figure Movement - FB

Jersey City Art School - (I teach Portrait Drawing, Acrylic Painting and run the Wednesday night open Figure Drawing sessions)

Summer Dawn Hortillosa - Writer/Actor