Joseph Keehn is an artist, curator, and writer born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. His conceptually driven projects have combined text, images, videos, and performances to address issues of conventional norms, history, and power structures. As in the case of An Otherwise Hopeless Evening, Joseph’s projects are often temporal and site-specific, residing in an intentional place for a particular reason. In that work the Jewel Box Lounge was used to mount an exhibition of original and site-responsive works, arranged alongside curated artifacts on loan from the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America (GLAMA).

In the series Subway Paintings (2007-2009), he used cleaning supplies and tape to remove the grit and grime of the subway station platforms in his Brooklyn neighborhood. Still visible on the Classon subway station on the G train, the work questions traditional views of painting while revealing the neglect of public transportation in an underserved neighborhood. For a commissioned project for the Stiefel Theater in Salina, Kansas, Joseph recorded the second instrumental and vocal parts of the Other, and these works have temporarily resided at Moss-Thorn Gallery of Art (Hays, KS), Shift Space (Wichita, KS), Mulvane Art Museum (Topeka, KS), Campbell Square (Salina, KS), Hobbs (Kansas City, MO), Sage Inn & Lounge (Provincetown, MA) and Center for Contemporary Art (Seattle, WA).

Grounded in performance and queer culture, his most recent work employing the time-intensive use of craft techniques–such as carpentry, knitting, needlepoint, and quilting–is durational, meticulous, and riddled with dichotomies: craft/fine art, feminine/masculine, traditional/non-traditional. Ultimately, the body of work he presents reveals the subtle differences between gay and straight worlds, which are constantly in flux (and have been since before such concepts even existed).

Joseph has initiated several LGBTQ public programs in Salina, KS and Kansas City, and has been reviewed in publications including  OUT Magazine CAMP Magazine  The Pitch , has curated projects at the Salina Art Center, Smoky Hill River Festival, & the New Museum, and has published writings for the New Museum & Routledge Publishing, the Salina Art Center’s website, and  Zócalo Public Square
Selfportrait still from promo video for An ​Otherwise Hopeless Evening - Provincetown.