Joel Rea was born in 1983 and graduated from Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2003. He has exhibited his work in Australia and the United States and has been acclaimed for his oil paintings in many prestigious art awards through out Australia. In 2013 he was selected for the Archibald Salon Des Refuses exhibition in Sydney, the Black Swan Award for Portraiture in Perth, the Fleurieu Landscape Prize in Adelaide and is the winner of the 2013 ANL Maritime Art Award in Melbourne. In the Summer 2013 issue of American magazine Art Business News, Rea was featured as one of thirty artists under the age of thirty who are revolutionizing the world of fine arts. In 2014 Rea was selected as a finalist in the prestigious Sulman Prize held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and for the second year in a row was selected as a finalist in the 2014 Black Swan Portraiture Prize held in Perth.
In a recent review, Jane Denison wrote “Intrigued by chance, duality and alternate possibilities, Rea’s hyperrealist paintings delve into the depths of our minds. Using the physical elements as a metaphor for human emotion and experience, Rea portrays nature as pulsating energy that is both majestic and threatening. Rea describes himself as a Contemporary Surrealist Painter, but his work is also a twist on the aesthetics of the sublime in 18th century Romantic art. In common with Romantic artists, Rea is interested in the duality of opposites where nature is a source of purity and timelessness while also a dark sentiment and force of destruction.”
“My work is like a timeline of my life. My closest friends can always see the connections and metaphors between my life and my paintings. I’m really glad it’s that way because I can honestly say I’m being genuine in my intentions even if it compromises my financial success. These paintings are the story of my life, and spiritually I know we are all connected through our common thread of humanity; therefore, they represent everyones stories, my art is a quest for understanding, love and forgiveness.” – Joel Rea (Modern Art Talk)