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Joseph  Radoccia

Joseph Radoccia

Joseph Radoccia is a painter, whose works have varied in subject matter over the years, but all have explored the artist’s interest in various forms of intimacy. Radoccia has exhibited his art extensively throughout New York.

Born in the small town of Hornell, NY, Radoccia and his family relocated to Buffalo after he finished the third grade.[1] Radoccia was artistically inclined since childhood and was always excited by the prospect of drawing and creating while in school.[2] He went on to hone his artistic ability, receiving his Bachelor's in Graphic Design from Buffalo State in 1982 and his MFA in Painting from the University at Buffalo in 1985.[3] It was during his time in graduate school that he was invited to exhibit for the first time. In 1985 he was featured in a group exhibition at the Albright Knox Art Gallery. His early works were also featured in exhibitions at Hallwalls and the Burchfield Penney Art Center.[4] Radoccia subsequently decided that he wanted to pursue a professional career as a painter and moved to Brooklyn, NY in the late 1980s.

Surrounded by the devastating effects of the AIDS epidemic, particularly to the LGBTQ community, Radoccia’s work began to express his feelings on the raising levels of fear and prejudice he was witnessing, as well as make a statement on the importance of awareness.[5] He ventured from painting into sculpture work to explore these feelings. Despite the success of this work within the art community, he felt it was starting to negatively impact his mental health and perpetuate the negative tropes that already existed surrounding AIDS. He returned to his original love of painting, and began to explore themes of identity, love, fear and sexual expression.[6] Many of these artistic explorations mirrored Radoccia’s own exploration into himself and his identity. He began exhibiting with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, and some of his works remain in the gallery’s permanent collection.[7]

By the mid 1990’s Radoccia wanted to distance his paintings from the personal and political themes he had been exploring so heavily. In an effort to indulge in more observational painting, he would travel regularly to Madagascar. He would take in the various scenic landscapes and come back to paint all that he had witnessed from his memory.[8] 

With the nonstop growth of New York City becoming almost too much to bear, Radoccia longed to make home a place that mimicked the peace and serenity Madagascar offered him. In 2011 he moved to Beacon, NY, in the heart of Hudson Valley. He still resides there today. His work has continued to evolve as he has, this time shifting from objects and still life to portraits. His portraits represent a continued fascination with exploring themes of intimacy throughout his entire body of work. As noted in his artist statement, the truth lies within the minor, unspoken details:

“I have found that there is a profound intimacy in the act of painting a person’s portrait. You spend hours silently looking at their face, translating what you see into various types of marks, and you watch as these marks become their likeness. Little by little facets of their personality begin to emerge that no amount of conversation could ever unveil.”[9]

The choice to create oversized portraits with pencil on paper on is one that is intentional. Large images give the viewer the chance to see the entire picture at first glance. But with a closer look one will notice the slight imperfections and pencil markings, representative of both the artistic and personal process:

 “This viewer experience from the distant clarity of the whole to the exposed complexity of its making is intended to mirror the process by which we truly get to know another person and offer an essence of the living model to the rendered portrait.”[10]

Radoccia has most recently been featured in a group exhibition at the Coburn Gallery at Ashland University in Ohio (2018). He was also featured in a solo exhibition in Kingston, NY entitled Becoming Elders: Portraits of LGBTQ Elders.[11]

In June 2019 his LGBTQ elder portraits will be featured in a solo exhibition at the ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse, NY. The exhibition, About Face: 50 Years After Stonewall, will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.[12]



[1] Larry Curtis Jr., “The Art of a Man; Local Artist Talks Life and His Creative Process,” The Impact, Nov. 9, 2012.

[2] Larry Curtis Jr., “The Art of a Man; Local Artist Talks Life and His Creative Process,” The Impact, Nov. 9, 2012.

[3] “Joseph Radoccia Artist Resume,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.

[4] “Joseph Radoccia Artist Biography,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.

[5] Larry Curtis Jr., “The Art of a Man; Local Artist Talks Life and His Creative Process,” The Impact, Nov. 9, 2012.

[6] “Joseph Radoccia Artist Biography,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.

[7] “Joseph Radoccia Artist Biography,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.

[8] Larry Curtis Jr., “The Art of a Man; Local Artist Talks Life and His Creative Process,” The Impact, Nov. 9, 2012.

[9] “Joseph Radoccia Artist Statement,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.

[10] “Joseph Radoccia Artist Statement,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.

[11] “Joseph Radoccia Artist Resume,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.

[12] “Joseph Radoccia Artist Resume,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.