A series of illustrations commissioned by Financial News Magazine (art director, Barry Ainslie) to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week. The story concerns worries about the mental health of people working in the highly pressurised environment of the city banking sector. Stress, depression, insomnia and obsessive compulsive disorder are common amongst people working long hours with high expectations. There are attempts to reduce stigma - encouraging employees talk about their problems and managers to be supportive. Change is happening, we are told.
I created this series of illustrations for The Guardian's G2 magazine, 20 February 2017, working with Guardian art director Ellen Wishart. The article, by Chitra Ramaswamy, focussed on how popular apps like AirBnB and Uber can facilitate prejudice by enabling users to deny each other on the grounds of, for example, what they look like on their profile photograph (ie on the grounds of race etc). The writer questions whether the lauded Sharing Economy is just a spontaneous deregulation movement ('companies deregulating themselves'). These massively profitable organisations seem to shirk responsibility and permit discrimination. If they don't change they will make the world a worse place - so don't believe their creepy Utopian marketing messages! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qUTYHnLz2g
Full article: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/20/airbnb-uber-sharing-apps-digital-equality
The digital armies waging war online
The Guardian. Monday 07.11.16
Illustrations by Joe Magee
Art Editor Andrew Stocks
From Russian Trump supporters to Turkish state stooges, governments all over the world are manipulating social media for their own ends. that's where the digital footsoldiers come in - smearing opponents, spreading disinformation and posting fake texts for 'pocket money'.
Article written by Leo Benedictus
This series of illustrations was commissioned by METAL in Southend-on-Sea for an innovative project exploring dementia, due to go live in November 2016. The Dementia Project, lead by artist Simon Poulter, and developed by local artist Elsa James, is set in Metal's NetPark, located in Chalkwell Park, Southend-on-Sea. Visitors to the park are invited to borrow digital tablets and wander specific areas of the park that have been installed with wifi hotspots. As the tablets pick up the localised signals, images (seen here) and anecdotal stories by writer Alistair Gentry (working in conjunction with local park-goers who are living with dementia) appear and create a narrative based on both the fragmenting memories of those living with dementia and nearby features of the park, such as a particular tree or garden. All the illustrations employ images gathered in these particular locations in Chalkwell Park.
Pill Palette, 2016
Illustration and design by Joe Magee
Image commissioned by Create Gloucestershire
Poster commissioned by Gloucestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group
This poster has been produced by Gloucestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. It is part of a national 'social prescibing' pilot project.
The image was commissioned by Create Gloucestershire, an arts incubator group, who wanted an image to accompany a piece entitled 'An artist a day keeps the doctor away', a discussion about the relationship between art and health, and how a daily 'dose' of art can help build and sustain a healthy and meaningful life.
The pill packet is so familiar but I've obscured what kind of pills might have been in it - whether simple painkillers or mind-tweaking anti-depressants. Generally, I think the act of poking out a pill from a packet elicits a particular feeling in the user - one of impending relief or a road to wellbeing. The fact that, in this image, the packet contains paints is disconcerting and makes the connection clearly between these feelings described and art. The bright and fun colours subvert what we expect in the normally monotone packaging and contents, adding an edge because its dangerous to consider pills to be fun - but Art can be anything it wants.
Divine, my illustration for the cover of the 60th issue of The Reader
POP-UP ART SALE | JOE MAGEE
1-13 December 2015, 11am-6pm, Bristol 2015 Lab Shop, BS1 5TX
For the first 2 weeks of December I will be selling lots of art and art-related stuff! I have a space in the Bristol 2015 Lab Shop, in the heart of Bristol 100metres along the harbourside from Watershed. I'm intending to be in the shop for the duration, and will have special offers, discounts and some rare one-offs, as well as limited edition prints, books, posters and postcards.
My portrait, Status, has been published by Courrier International, July 2015, to accompany the article, Les nouveaux prophètes de la Silicon Valley.
Commissioned by The Guardian, April 2015
Desperate migrants brave overcrowded boats to reach European shores from Africa often with tragic consequences.
A great start to 2015, I co-directed a short film with Bill Bailey, Love Song, also starring the gorgeous Emma Thompson.
A Glassbox Production, commissioned for BBC iPlayer, its about 5 mins and available online HERE until 13 April.
Just completed a cover image for Courrier International, as well as a series of images for the interior, on the subject of The Circular Economy. The feature concerns the idea of an industrial economy that is restorative by intention, aiming to eradicate waste through careful design and reliant on renewable energy. A lot of the answers come from observing nature (biomimicry). Producers and consumers must be complicit.
I'm proud to work with the wonderful Reader Organisation. Available now. Inside is a short essay about this portrait.
MAN IN GARDEN
In the 1990s I was doing a lot of portraits; this one is of my dad. It’s the biggest picture I’d ever done, about eight foot wide. It was part of an exhibition I held called Damage (shown at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Aytoun Gallery). It was a very experimental image; at that point it was quite new to mix media, like photography and paint, on a computer. I was playing around, exploring.
A photo, left untouched, was not enough. I knew what I wanted – a man sitting in an enclosed space, in a suburban setting, almost cage-like, with all the chaos of the world happening around him, beyond the walls.
The camera angle is very low – I’m crouching down looking up at him. Maybe that was part of how I view him – your first memories of your father are almost certainly of looking up at them, aren’t they? I also wanted his upper body and his head to be against the sky. I knew I was going to put imagery in the sky.
My father was a ship’s captain and through the greatest storms imaginable he kept a steady ship. I’m talking about his job, but maybe a bit about his family too – there were eight of us kids. He was a kind of rock, for sure; anyone who knew him would say that.
I crave narratives – that’s what I’m after when I look at a piece of art. Perhaps the picture was also a comment on his retirement: he’d had this incredible life, lived through two world wars, travelled round the world numerous times on the ships, escaping death continuously, and here he is retired, everything narrowed down to four walls. But even though his physical life has changed, life outside still swirls around him: he was very plugged in to the world – he’d often have two radios going at the same time whilst watching Ceefax on the telly. His head was probably awash with some of the new technology that had come in during his lifetime. When he went to sea at 16 he learnt how to navigate by the stars; by the time this photo was taken of him, people were using satnav just to go down the street.
I put the black hole next to him because I wanted to create a darkness; not one that dominated, but something you came across as you looked around the image, and that you might not even see if you didn’t look hard enough. It’s a squiggle of lines but in the middle of it there’s an absolute void that can’t be understood. My dad was in his eighties at the time of the photo, he died when he was 95.
Wherever I live, this picture is always the first thing to go up. It feels like my dad’s presence is there. It hangs on my landing wall and I sometimes touch his foot as I’m going past, like people do with religious idols in a church, wearing the stone away – I might be rubbing the ink off. It’s talismanic for me.
Inks on the studio floor / a new silkscreen print, 'STATUS', emerging.
Inks now on the wall at The Day of the Aloof Icon, Hackney until 31 October. Get on down and buy one!!
Just completed a residency at Liverpool School of Art and Design (Liverpool John Moores University) that included a lecture to students and the production of a limited edition 3 colour silkscreen print (an edition of 49). This is a re-issue of a larger, 6 colour, print made in 2003. The image was originally commissioned and published by The Daily Telegraph for an article that had nothing to do with Margaret Thatcher - apart from the message written across it in braille, 'Thatcher Fucked Us' - that resulted in my sacking. It was part of a series of about 7 or 8 images that were published with messages at-odds with the Telegraph's right wing philosophy. This print will go on sale at my new exhibition, The Day of The Aloof Icon, 16-31 Oct 2014 at The Modern Warehouse, Hackney.