Artist Spotlight: Joe Papagoda

Willow WolfeArtist Spotlight

Joe Papagoda is an American artist with a unique style of contemporary abstract expressionism. A skilled painter, photographer, and sculptor, he has accomplished much as a young artist. Joe’s artwork is collected internationally, earning a number of awards for both art and photography in recent years.

The Refuge of Hades by Joe Papagoda on Princeton Artist Brush Co

Joe works primarily with acrylics, incorporating the occasional use of oil and spray paint. He describes his signature technique: “[I use a] mixed media approach to create a dynamic array of colors with a limited color palette. I layer several mediums over one another – often working with the painting against the ground – I begin painting with a brush, and paint applied directly on the canvas to build a foundation of soft and sometimes heavy brush strokes. My own custom mix of fluid acrylic or other mixed mediums are applied over this foundation offering greater control over the final organic composition.”

The Burning Passion mixed media painting by Joe Papagoda

Joe uses our Redline brushes in his paintings. “I love the glossy red finish they have…sometimes I hang them on the wall for creative inspiration or against the random blotches of paint all over the table top.” His go-to painting tool is the W-06 silicone wedge from our line of Catalyst Tools, explaining, “Its smooth edge is great for spreading a solid color against the canvas, and makes prepping my canvas so much easier.”

Joe Papagoda painting with Princeton Catalyst Tools Wedge

Joe is inspired by the likes of colorful, weathered objects, construction sites, and industrial zones. “Especially when juxtaposed to something brand new,” he explains, “It evokes a daring sort of prowess that’s very empowering.” Influenced by many artists, virtuosos, films, photographers, directors, writers, philosophers, and speakers, Joe notes the unique style of Pablo Picasso as an inspiration, as well as documentary photographer, David Douglas Duncan.

Joe Papagoda art studio

Explaining his creative process, Joe writes, “Many of my paintings are made on the floor because they’re either so large, or involve dynamic application of mixed medias in a fluid manner for certain parts of the process. Sometimes I use my jacket sleeve as a paint palette, and other times I use the nearest object as a palette, my shoes, the floor, the easel – even the wall – the walls are covered with newspapers I might wipe my brush off on, and the floors have special floor canvas for collecting stray drops of paint or overflowing amounts of acrylic. The whole room is my paint palette really. Sometimes I have music playing, although most times it’s quiet with no other activity going on. The whole process is zen-ish really.”

Joe Papagoda - Princeton Artist Brush Co

Recently, Joe has collaborated with and to create clothing designs from his own original artwork using photographs of the work that are transferred onto yoga & athletic clothes through process of sublimation. “My portrait is on the clothing tags,” Joe says. “It’s really unique and many of my followers love it.”

Joe’s work can be viewed and purchased on his website at: