STEVE JOY (b. 1952, Plymouth, England) The initial impetus for painting came to me through exposure to the works of Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. To this day, I remain committed to the idea of spiritual abstraction and to the development of painting and its history form the 15th century to today. Influences from the past would include Duccio, Giotto, Valasquez and Matisse. I have lived all over the world including many years in the Far East. My works include the somewhat romantic idea that the exotic and mysterious places can be contained within painting--giving us all the taste of the unknown without having to make the journey ourselves. In recent years I have made paintings that I hope contain the spirit of places as diverse as a private cemetery in Madagascar, the grand 19th century hotels and palaces of India and the Far East, a Mayan temple in the southern Yucatan, or the remote deserts of North Africa, to name just a few. My most recent paintings are an attempt to deal with certain codes of ethics, aesthetics and spirituality that runs throughout the history of humanity. This includes the warrior code of the Samurai, the tradition of Russian Orthodox Icon Painting, and finally homage to the sublime, ethereal portraits of Leonardo da Vinci. For nearly three decades, Steve Joy has exhibited his exotically evocative art around the world. His work is now represented in galleries and museums in Norway, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Japan and the United States, including New York, Omaha and Lincoln. A retrospective of his work is slated with the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha.