The Daily Dudes
365 Paintings by Joe Banda
On View March 10th-May 31st.
RECEPTION March 10th 6-9 pm
On February 2nd 2017 Joe Banda posted the first of the “Daily Dudes” as a story on instagram: #Dailydude1. It was a strange inclination to use social media as a catalyst to induce a daily studio practice. If it was worth labeling the first, then surely more should follow. From there The Daily Dudes snowballed and ran for a straight year with out Joe having ever set out to do so.
The result is 365 original paintings, mostly on discarded metal paint can lids from Joe’s job as a sign maker but also on bits of random aluminum and plexiglass panels, also from his day job. In the month since the last Daily Dude, Joe has compiled a book of all The Daily Dudes, has an exhibition installed of all 365 portraits and even a run of Koozies exclusive to the opening night.
The Daily Dudes was Joe’s way of making himself sit down and paint every single day with really simple rules; it just had to be a portrait and it had to happen at least once a day. The resulting body of work is a massive array of bizarre creatures straight from Joe’s own imagination to more obvious tributes of musicians, skateboarders and film and television characters.
Every single one of them also has a name that is as equally creative as the portraits themselves. Danny Devito show’s up as “Franny”, while the late Jim Lahey of the Trailer Park Boys is “Lim Jahey”, who’s subsequently followed by “Shit Hawk”, in a clear extension of the initial tribute painting. There’s also characters we kind of all know like “Shitty Bill” and “Mysterious Dave”. Then there’s the extra abstract concoctions like “Croopah”, “Gorborble” and “Shontonio”.
Through out the series Joe never let himself carry a theme for more than a few days at a time. It’s impressive because the easier thing to do would have been to choose a serial theme and cut out the grime of having to come up with a new idea every day. The clever titles on the purely original portraits add a bonus angle a-la chicken or the egg, where you have to wonder if he named all these beings after the fact, or if sometimes the weird word came first and he had to invent it’s image based on it’s name. As the series progresses Joe's paintings become decidedly larger and more complex, with the last stretch including some Daily Dudes that combine to form triptychs and tetraptychs.
The Daily Dudes isn’t just a collection of portraits, it’s also a documentation of how someone could make a creative commitment and the rewards of pushing through the lulls, hiccups, distractions and excuses. Sure, you don’t always feel like it, don’t know where to start, don’t want to make something that isn’t good. They can’t all be bangers right? But that’s why you keep making, the act of just doing is sometimes where the magic really happens.
During the day Joe works as a professional sign installer based out of Boston, he starts his day at a ludicrous hour and trucks through an 90+ minute daily commute. Through out the year he’s also finished and exhibited larger and more complicated paintings in addition to a body of digital illustrations. Joe lives on the North Shore of MA with his wife Amy, and their massive cat Rambo. Joe likes coffee, he's a skateboarder and he likes making art while dodging social interaction.
The Daily Dudes opens at Mingo Gallery in Beverly MA on March 10th from 6-9 pm, and will be on view till May 31st.
You can see more of Joe’s work here: www.joebanda.com/
And on Instagram: @jbnda.