Endowed with exceptional artistic ability, Joshua Tiessen has already garnered the artistic recognition still sought after by many professional artists more than twice his age. At the young age of eighteen, Tiessen has attracted the attention of international and Canadian art collectors, having been the subject of 40 exhibitions, sold 70 original works and been featured in nearly 100 articles and magazines.
Born in Moscow, Russia in 1995, Tiessen began painting at the age of 3, learning artistic principles and techniques in perspective from his Russian nanny. Like many children of virtuoso talent, his artistic career began to blossom early under the sunlight of continuous creative recognition. By middle school he had been discovered by local artist Valerie Jones and held his first public exhibition at the age of eleven. By the age of fourteen, Tiessen had his first gallery exhibition and attracted the notice of internationally acclaimed environmental artist, Robert Bateman, who invited Joshua to a professional apprenticeship on Cortes Island, British Columbia.
Since then, Art has become a full time career for Tiessen, who in 2010 established The Josh Tiessen Studio Gallery in Stoney Creek, Ontario. The young artist works with a hyper-realistic aesthetic, using unconventional cropping and diagonal horizons to build visual interest through symmetrical imperfection. Adding a contemporary flare to his work, Tiessen often paints around the two-inch depth of his canvas panels, giving his paintings a 3-dimensional appearance. Tiessen states, “I like to show a beauty in complexity and reflect the subtleties of living.” The textural integrity of his work mimics even the smallest features of objects and landscapes. This almost photographic attention to detail takes between 200-300 hours of fine-tuning to complete.
Despite technical mastery, Joshua asserts that subject matter is his initial concern in beginning a piece. Often his work deals with nature and wildlife, using objects and landscapes that stress the beauty and diversity of creation. Joshua comments, “I like to showcase God as an artist and Time as a teacher. I attempt to draw attention to the power of nature and the constant movement of time as it impacts weathered buildings and old houses.”
Tiessen’s art echoes with an environmental awareness that inspires viewers to acknowledge wildlife despite a societal estrangement from the very nature that sustains human existence. Building on this artistic responsibility, Tiessen expanded his philanthropic efforts to found the Art For Change Foundation, an Art-based non-profit organization that has already raised $30,000 for charities.
Tiessen believes that “one person can multiply efforts to affect the lives of many.”
In recent times, this young artist, referred to by many as a “prodigy”, has not slowed pace on his highway of achievement. Recently, he received the Entrepreneur of The Year Award in Canada’s Top 20 Under 20, and was the youngest featured artist in The Artist’s Project exhibition last month in Toronto. Tiessen is the youngest member of the International Guild of Realism and his work has been featured in The National Gallery located in Ottawa.
The push against Art in school boards across Canada serves as a strong reason for the disengagement of many students whose interests are stigmatized by favoured curriculum. Art classes centred on “arts and crafts” do little to build the artistic technique of gifted students associated with professional enterprise. Joshua Tiessen stands as living proof of the creative potential of youthful minds and the social impact of Art on the community. It is through such an example of greatness that we must re-evaluate the doors left open in the hallways students walk.
This month Tiessen is holding a virtual tour on his website to exhibit his most recent work to a growing crowd of international collectors. Entitled, The Visceral, you can view his collection of original creations at http://www.joshtiessen.com/.