Joseph Meloy (b. 1982, New York City) has coined the term Vandal Expressionism,  to tag his personal post-graffiti spin on the abstract expressionism of the 40’s and 50’s.  Incorporating some of the more primal elements of graffiti, Vandal Expressionism utilizes the same iconography of damage and intrusion as street art,  but turns the calligraphic scribbles of the street into a medium for artistic divination. The Vandal Expressionist uses the texture and the visual cues of the incendiary as a means to create rather than destroy.

Ignoring the traditional distinctions between the abstract and the figurative, Joseph’s work often delves into the impulses of the subconscious, pouring them out onto canvas and paper in an otherworldly yet distinctly urban visual language.  Rorschach-test ambiguity leaves plenty of room for interpretation, making for an engaging experience that invites the viewer to stop and explore both the work before them as well as their own interpretations.

There is no rigid moral or sociopolitical agenda. Ultimately, Joseph’s work is about making marks, whether they’re made with a pencil, a paintbrush, a digital stylus or a camera, the ends justify the means in Vandal Expressionism, and there is a definite sense of “paint first, ask questions later.”

Explosion At Sea


The Coming Together of Many Things


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