Joseph Demaree, a San Jose native who balances his time between painting, music and live performances as his alter ego Captain Nowhere, returns for South First Friday for his first major showing in San Jose in the last few years.
The artist reception Friday at Metro Newspaper’s lobby will also feature an acoustic performance from Demaree. He is know for his surrealist work as a painter; even though he’s evolved as an artist, his most memorable pieces include Dali-esque imagery.
Demaree brings his musical experience into his paintings, which often showcase his favorite tools—pedals, amps, guitars and analog recording equipment. The Metro gallery show will be unique in the fact that the artist will showcase all aspects of his endeavors, and the audience will be able to connect the dots between the paintings and the music.
His musical endeavors range from the avant-garde compositions of The Unit Breed to the neo-folk he croons today. He even had a children’s band, The Abominable Snowmen that charmed kids with songs like “Eat your veggies” and “Pie in the face.”
These days Demaree has shaken the dust he’s collected on his boots from years of traveling and has once again taken up residence in the South Bay. As he puts it, “San Jose is my home. When I look at the people, sky and mountains that surround this valley I know I am home. To catapult an adventurer: What beauty in the flight, and long trek home.”
His sometimes cryptic responses to questions about his travels and experiences parallel his art. Demaree realizes the benefit of work and often cajoles his audience into finding hidden meanings in his images and music. To him, the benefit of interaction and the sharing of ideas take precedence above all. Discovering different angles to life’s moments is his crusade. It’s all part of a three dimensional timeline where he likes to create and play. He explains, “There are so many ways to tell a story and participate in it. I am fortunate to have accumulated so many perspectives to help tell the tale. At times it can be quite maddening. “
The controlled madness that Demaree employs in all his endeavors is at times hidden, and when necessary, takes center stage. When it does unfold, with a backdrop of music or paint, it grabs the audience by their heart’s throat. The work can approach being emotionally dangerous, but the artist is always in control, and he’s not in the business of pushing his audience over the edge. He’s gone himself, and just wants to share the joy of falling, and climbing back up again.