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I Like Your Work: Conversations with Artists, Curators & Collectors

Mar 2, 2019

Joan LeMay is a portraitist and illustrator who is interested in pattern, gesture and Byzantine halos. She loves painting people, animals, plants and things (a kind of anthropomorphic approach to portraiture) in equal measure, and packs referential objects, color-based symbolism and other subject-specific elements into the busy backgrounds of her work in order to reflect the soul and life of the person or creature depicted.

We talk about creating opportunities, RuPaul, the music industry and how she has put them all together. 

Her work has been exhibited in Texas, L.A., Seattle, Portland, OR, WA, NYC, and Germany. 
Her illustration clients include Lenny, Damn Joan, Racquet Magazine, Topic, Punch Drink, Novation, MLM LLC, Jamie Walters Interior Design and others. Her paintings have appeared in Architectural Digest, Apartment Therapy, Juxtapoz and other publications.
Her album artwork appears on LPs by Benjamin Gibbard, Laura Gibson, Dave Depper, Clint Michigan, Jennifer O'Connor, The White Papers, and others.
She is currently creating artwork for the upcoming documentary film "It's Not A Burden", produced and directed by the Emmy-nominated team at Greenie Films.
She is also, and always, taking portraiture commissions for pets, people and places, and continues to illustrate for multiple outlets from her studio in Santa Fe, NM
“I’ve seen scarier.”--John Waters on Joan’s portrait of him
“I love the painting, it’s just perfect”--Amy Sedaris on Joan’s portrait of her
“I love this! Thank you!”--New York Magazine Art Critic Jerry Saltz on the unsolicited portrait Joan painted of him
Podcasts/music shows mentioned in the interview: 
Jealous Curator: Art For Your Ear podcast
Alain de Botton and John Armstrong, Art as Therapy
Joan Lemay:
20x200 is going to release two signed and numbered editions of Joan's work March 5th and March 20th. She created original, exclusive work for them and I'll be selling the originals on her site.