(b. Newark, NJ) Josie Barreiro also known as J131 hails from Newark, NJ and cites street art, specifically that of the urban center, as the groundwork for her gestural and energetic technique and as the inspiration for her work. Her deep-seated love for graffiti, street art and abstract expressionism gives way to a body of work that is laced with emotion, spontaneous energy, and personal cultural memory. Josie was featured in The Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project in 2018. Josie's works were exhibited at Pen and Brush Gallery, NYC, where she created a live painting during the exhibition. She was also featured in a NYC-ARTS segment in 2016. Josie earned her MFA in Fine Arts and MA in Art Education at New Jersey City University; she holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY.
Josie has exhibited at the The Fountain Street Fine Arts Gallery, Framingham, MA; Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland, CA; Pen + Brush Gallery, Wilmer Jennings Gallery, New York, NY; Hall of Fame Gallery- BCC, Bronx, NY; Human Rights Institute Gallery, James Howe Gallery, Union, NJ; Paul Robeson Gallery, City Without Walls, 27 Mix, L.I.P.S, Index Art, Newark, NJ; Distillery Art Gallery, L.I.T.M, Harold B.- Lemmerman Gallery, Jersey City, NJ; Valley Arts Gallery, Orange, NJ; Ben Shahn Gallery, Paterson, NJ; Raritan Valley Community College, Somerville, NJ; Monmouth Museum, Lincroft NJ; The Arts Guild, Rahway, NJ and UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art, Colorado Springs, CO; among other locations.
Art has taken me on a journey through my cultural memories and life experiences fueled by emotion and the passion for my craft. My large color canvases show the influence of my Spanish heritage as well as early 20th century Spanish painters, street art and abstract expressionism. My smaller black and white works refer directly to the emotions we all feel and often portray our socio-political situations expressed through gestural figures or the animals who share our predicament. Animal characteristics serve as metaphors to exemplify pain, love, sorrow, joy, anxiety and anger. My goal is to present images illustrating the human condition and its complexity.
My sense of time is suspended while working and my focus allows me to reflect on my ideas and memories to complete each piece. Whether I'm working with color or creating monochrome collage pieces, I look forward to the visceral experience of painting by building the surface layers to illustrate real and imagined situations. The act of painting is an avenue delivering my ideas from my center to a tangible surface.