Joe Petro III
Born May 3, 1956 in Lexington, Kentucky, Joe Petro III is a second generation fine artist. After majoring in Zoology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Petro chose to turn his lifelong love of art into his profession. His educational background and interest in the animal world is evident in many of his images.
Strongly influenced by the world around him, he bases his images on things familiar to him. Early childhood memories are reflected in his works. As a young child his artist-father gave him a "Robby the Robot" toy, who was first seen in the 1956 film "Forbidden Planet". Memories of the toy lead him to spend countless weeks working on his serigraph of "Robby". Familiarity strikes again in the image of "Bub", the artist's parrot.
A self-taught artist, J. Petro III rejects conventional rules and restrictions, learning solely through experimentation. Skilled in various media such as bronze, clay and hand-made paper, he is an accomplished sculptor, as well as a master printmaker. The artist pulls all of his own serigraphs using hand-cut stencils. Each color onto the white paper, rather than layering one color on top of the next. Through this method of printing on "negative space" he is able to produce the vivid, brilliant colors that make his works so unique. He frequently uses as many as 246 colors, which he mixes himself and blends by hand.
Corporate commissions include IBM Corporation, NCR Corporation, GREENPEACE, The IAMS Company and The 1990 Iditarod.
Joe Petro III also likes to fish.
About Joe Petro III
Joe Petro III the printmaker is at this writing thirty-nine and living in Lexington, Kentucky, and I Kurt Vonnegut (jr.) am seventy-two and living in Sagaponack, Long Island, New York. It was Joe's idea back in 1993 that I should paint and draw pictures with opaque inks on sheets of acetate, and that he would then print limited editions of these works by means of the silkscreen process, of which he is a self-taught master. Joe, the son of an artist, started out to be a zoologist at the University of Tennessee, but got sidetracked somehow, making images of God's creatures instead of dissecting them.
We first collaborated on a poster for a speech I was giving at Midway College outside of Lexington. I did a self-portrait and Joe printed it above the where and when and why of that appearance. He said, "Why don't we keep on going?" I said, "OK." And we have worked together on about twenty more images since then. He has similarly persuaded other dilettantes and full-time artists to let him replicate their creations, with uniformly flattering results. He is like a brilliant pianist who subtly expresses his own moods and sensibilities while playing another person's music.
For whom has he performed such favors so far? Hunter Thompson, Ralph
Steadman, William Burroughs. What sort of people have made themselves owners of Joe's own
remarkable pictures? Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Frank Zappa, Pete Seeger, Terry Gilliam,
David Attenborough, Willy Nelson, Ted Turner, and on
When Joe makes pictures of his own, it is as though Mother Nature herself has sent him images of her own on acetate, bugs, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, plants, water, sky. He honors her with gradations in color and tone and texture which most silkscreen specialists would consider impossible, to so difficult as to not be worth the effort. His worldly rewards have been commissions from PBS, IBM, Greepeace, Absolut, The Nature Conservancy, and, again, on and on.
A Brief Information Sheet of Joe Perto III's Artwork...
Petro III's Artwork Has Been Featured On The Following Television
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JOE PETRO III IS LISTED IN "WHO'S WHO IN AMERICAN ART".