I'm making work because I have to. I come from a lineage of workers, it's all I know.

My work explores the presence of a body through its interaction with an object. It is a call and response between myself and my subjects and a question of whether or not an object is defined by its function.

I employ painting, drawing, and sculpture, as devices to examine how the body can impart an object or a space with history.  The work is the difference between a line and a shape, one color’s proximity to another, and the miles between them. A cadmium red next to a titanium white a passage of alizarin crimson next to mint green.

Painting and drawing become a means of recording. I arrive at an image using a build-up and removal of marks. Each brushstroke is a depiction of light going across a form. Each distinct line is notetaking how a subject activates a space and a search for its significance. Sculpture deconstructs, and reconstructs a form as a means of research. These mediums delineate how the body interacts with objects not merely as separate entities but as extensions of our lived experiences.

“I knew I would be a painter. It never occurred to me that I would do anything else. “ - March Avery

Artist Bio

Josue Bessiake is an African American painter working in Beverly, Massachusetts whose work is heavily influenced by his environment. He was born to two parents who immigrated from Côté d'Ivoire in 1993. Growing up, his family bounced around the Midwest, allowing him to observe a multitude of settings and environments that shaped how he looks at the world. Bessiake's work ranges from abstraction to representation but what all the work has in common is a determination to express his connection to the world around him. Depicting his relationship between the spaces he inhabits and the relationship between those known and unknown. In his practice, Bessiake finds it is crucial to work from life. Taking up the same space as his subjects helps him see them more deeply, gaining a sense of empathy for his subjects. 

Josue Bessiake received his BFA from Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA. He recently completed an artist residency in the Bahamas where he studied painting with Michael P. Edwards. Bessiake also presented an artist talk at the National Gallery of the Bahamas as part of his residency.  Recent exhibitions include Fresh Faces at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, Boston, Shallow Waters at Bare Gallery, Beverly, A Familiar Form, at Massachusetts College of Art and a solo show, H301 at Gallery Kayafas, Boston and A Bird’s Last Look at Gallery NAGA, Boston.