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Born in upstate New York in 1984, Josh Sperling was raised in an artistic household, and both his grandfather and father worked as artists, the latter parlaying this into teaching high school shop and art. His earliest interest in art was kindled by the likes of MC Escher and Roy Lichtenstein, and Sperling’s parents were supportive of his budding enthusiasm, buying him Lego kits, and encouraging him to build interesting models with his toys.
Despite graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from SUNY Potsdam, New York in 2006, and his keen interest in the family business, his parents were eager to see him land a steadier job. As a result, his early, post-college career saw him working in woodwork and furniture-making, and despite clear promise in both fields, he had no interest in either. However, he continues to draw on what he has learned from this line of work in his art.
Sperling’s work draws on influences from the likes of Keith Haring and KAWS (with whom he has collaborated), as well as his long-time friend and contemporary Sam Friedman, and his work in applied art. His trademark style mixes sculpture and painting, often using multiple small, brightly-colored geometric canvases which are affixed to a wall in kinetic formations. When asked by Friedman in an interview how he would differentiate between his use of painting and sculpture in his work, he noted the importance of perspective: “If it hangs on a wall, it is a painting, even though it has slight relief. If it lives in the middle of the room, it is a sculpture.”
Josh Sperling has had his art exhibited worldwide, from Paris to Tokyo, and continues to live and work from his studio in his home state of New York.