Meet the Artist: Joseph Minek, Photographic Works

Joseph Minek No Poetic Device 03 Hr
Cleveland artist Joseph Minek draws the inspiration for his aesthetic from painting, while he attributes the process to photography.

By Kelli Comer

“Once you know the rules, you can break the rules.” —Joseph Minek

Cleveland photographer Joseph Minek follows this personal mantra to a “T” with his work, rebelling against traditional photography guidelines to create beautiful works of art, married by photographic chemistry and light.

Joseph was working in the studio about three years ago when he decided to see how he could construct images beyond familiarized photographic means.

He draws the inspiration for his aesthetic from painting, while he attributes the process to photography.

“My work focuses on the potentiality of photographic material, most notably its ability to transcend conventional analysis and use in image-making,” Joseph explains.

“By applying photographic chemistry to exposed light-sensitive papers, I construct images with colors, marks and compositions that reference the aesthetics of modernist abstract paintings while remaining firmly rooted in the realm of photography through size and surface value.”

Joseph, based in Cleveland, received his master of fine arts in photography and film from Virginia Commonwealth University and his bachelor of fine arts in photography from The Cleveland Institute of Art.

His work has been exhibited across the country in spaces such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, Photostop Gallery and Capital One Headquarters. In addition, Joseph also teaches local photography students the specifics of his chosen medium, serving as an adjunct faculty member at both The Cleveland Museum of Art and Cuyahoga Community College.

Joseph is currently focusing on his studio practice, dealing with the possibilities of photographic material. His primary pursuit lies in how photographic material is translated into images beyond the traditional processes, and how these images can influence viewers to reflect on not only what is shown through the imagery but also the possibilities of the photographic medium.

“I’m not sure I would call it a passion as much as an obsession,” smiles Joseph. “I think I would go insane if I wasn’t making.”

To reach Joseph, you can email him at His work has been exhibited in galleries nationally, including Cleveland, Washington D.C., New York City and Seattle. Visit to learn more about the artist and his work.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment