Josef Kristofoletti

Romania 1980

Urban Art, Street Art

Josef Kristofoletti
Josef Kristofoletti
August 14, 2014
Nina Karaicic is a journalist with experience in TV and radio media. Born in 1989, she had studied at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism). Interests: Photography, Art, Film, Folklore, Video Games

Josef Kristofoletti is Austin, Texas-based artist born 1980  in Nagyvarad, Transylvania whose work is primarily made up of mural paintings that address ideas about nature, technology, space and architecture.  He earned his BFA in painting at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2003 and MFA in painting at Boston University 2008.

Josef’s vocation to become an artist started around age 15, when he was very inspired by a drawing he saw in a book. “It was a drawing by Joseph Beuys, I think it was called ‘Dance of the Shaman’.” According to Josef, he studied to become a traditional canvas painter by painting from a model, but around the time he graduated he started working on walls and mural projects: “Once I tried it, it really felt right.”

Josef enjoys using the materials of a house painter. He doesn’t think technique is important at all, but the creative impulse behind the painting. His murals develop from drawings that he works on day to day. He is inspired by the vastness and scale of space, also the contradictions of matter in space. The work is also influenced by the environment or the architecture. He was very impressed with the fresco artists of the Italian renaissance that he saw on a trip to Italy.

Josef was an artist in residence at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. He painted  the three story tall mural for an art project commissioned by the ATLAS Experiment at CERN, on the side of the ATLAS control room directly above the detector, near the Swiss-French border outside of Geneva. This project was inspired by the same questions that the physicists at CERN are trying to answer; where did we come from, what does it mean to be human, and what is our place in the universe. The artist worked closely on location with physicists at CERN over the course of a year to create the mural. It depicts the artist’s interpretation of what the Higgs boson might look like.

According to Josef, he made roughly twenty preparatory drawings and variation on what the walls could look like : “This was for determining the structure of the work. The choice of colors, which I used to try to convey a level oh high energy, was improvised. There were some technical obstacles like overcoming many safety regulations, and bureaucratic processes to overcome in order to work at CERN. For me the project meant realizing a personal dream.”

As a founding member of the artist collective “Transitantenna”, he traveled throughout North America as part of a mobile living experiment that engaged local communities through public interventions. His work has appeared in several publications including Wired, PBS News Hour, New York Times, The Guardian, Boston Globe, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and Symmetry Magazine. In 2013 he represented the United States at the Bienal del Sur en Panama, in Panama City.

Josef is currently working on a few projects that involve some newly developing technology such as AR and CBI. His long term goal with mural painting is to work on more architecture specific collaborations.

Josef Kristofoletti currently lives and works in Austin, Texas.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2009365 and Some ChangeRedux Contemporary Art Center, SCGroup
2008The Sun Machine is Coming DownRedux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SCDuo
2007Force FieldSevengaits Project Space, Southbridge, MAGroup
2007Boston Young Contemporaries808 Gallery, Boston, MAGroup
2007Boston University MFA Thesis Exhibition808 Gallery, Boston, MAGroup
2007Human FormCommonwealth Gallery, MAGroup
2006Boston Young Contemporaries808 Gallery, Boston, MAGroup
2005Group ExhibitionISA Gallery, Montecastello, ItalyGroup
2004Group ExhibitionISA Gallery, Montecastello, ItalyGroup
2003Plastic ValuesCasa de la Cultura Mestizarte, Chicago, IlGroup
2003SAIC BFA Thesis ExhibitionSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago, ILGroup
2003Nippon SteelJury exhibition, Chicago, IlGroup