Joe Andoe is an American painter best known for his muted depictions of landscapes, solitary objects, and portraits using thin paint and photographic-like rendering. The artist’s works deal with the memories and connections he has to the open spaces and mood of the Great Plains, and frequently features animals such as horses, buffalo, and deer. Andoe underscores the possibilities of imagery by developing a cinematic vision of American mythologies. Often compared to the photographic documentation of teenage life in Tulsa by Larry Clark, Andoe’s universe has emerged as one great depiction of the American spirit and its iconography. Andoe’s signature technique consists of applying a thick layer of oil paint to his surfaces, incising the outlines of his subjects, and then wiping away the wet paint to reveal the coarsely textured canvas underneath.
A reoccurring motif Andoe has is the horse, he seems to have fused post-modern figurative paintings with views of the old west. He does not satirize the old west he is simply fascinated by it. When he went to New York he gained attention for his lean, roughly poetic painting of horses. This can be seen in how his works are in black and white; Andoe typically works in monochrome using the colors of ivory, black, or mars black in his works. This gives his works a vintage photograph tone. He is a key figure when it comes to photo-based realism and his works can be seen as a social critique of a robust America on the brink of disappearance. Andoe though uses images he finds off the internet and print out and then transfers them freehand onto the canvas. This method allows his works to be absent of nature worship or other form so transcendence.
Born on December 5, 1955 in Tulsa, Oklahoma in a part-Cherokee farming family, he initially studied agricultural business in community college. He gradually shifted his focus after discovering artists like Robert Smithson, going on to receive an MA in Fine Art from the University of Oklahoma in 1981.
Andoe began writing in 2002 and was first published in 2003 by Open City Magazine, a New York City magazine that featured many first-time writers. That same year he was published in Bomb and Bald Ego. Andoe had authored a comic book sized group of stories about his life and in 2005, Harper Collins asked him to create a longer version of the stories. These were the inspiration for the book Jubilee City: A Memoir at Full Speed (P.S.) which was published in 2007.
Andoe has an extensive exhibition record. Paintings by Andoe are represented in the permanent collections of the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, California; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts; Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri, among others.