Java Joe  Joe Mintardja is a painter hailing from Java who now lives in Ubud. He was born in a small village near Surabaya in 1972. His artistic talent appeared when he was still a child. Later in his teen years, he decided to pursue that talent and decided to study arts at the Senior High School of Fine Arts in Yogyakarta. Following these studies Joe finally graduated at PRISMA ASRI and ISI.


As a figurative artist, Joe is not interested in beauty but entirely in human characters and charisma in his subjects. He is one who prefers to capture the viewers with images of African and Asian faces, both primitive and tribal figures in warm colors. Through these different portraits, he found a different dimension that appears as a soul, a story, and even a life story. Joe doesn’t set out to paint for commercial goals, though he does exhibit internationally; instead, it is more important to him to paint “from the heart”.


Joe is inspired by the great masters of Europe – particularly Michelangelo and Hieronymous Bosch. He works in short, focused bursts, kneeling before the canvas with reverence almost as if it were an altar. He breaks every 30 minutes for a cup of Bali coffee and a cigarette, leaning back on two legs of a chair to observe what he has done from a distance. Then he’ll resume, re-entering his private zone of concentration, seemingly oblivious to the sounds drifting in the open windows of his studio.



© Dominik Staszowski Photography 

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