b.1943, New York City
In reviewing his 1969 show, photography critic A.D. Coleman called Joel Schreck art technically masterful. Fifty years later, Joel’s photo-graphics are more than masterful. They’re also visually arresting, fresh, provocative, and like nothing you’ve likely seen before.
In his youth, Joel studied painting with Polish artist Leo Cizes and later, during his teens, at New York’s Art Students League. At 16, he became interested in photography, but even before he bought a camera, he built a darkroom. Joel’s art has always been about crafting pictures rather than taking pictures.
In 1968, Joel and Betty Schreck opened Exposure Gallery on New York’s lower East side. It was New York’s first full time photography gallery since Stieglitz’s An American Place. From 1968 – 1973 Exposure showed Joel’s work along with the work of Michael Martone, George Tice, Ben Fernandez, M. Richard Kirstel, Murray Alcosser, Karen Tweedy Holmes, Charles Gatewood, Arthur Tress, Fred Cantor, Larry Shustak, and James Erwin.
In 1970 they moved from Manhattan to Berkeley, and began crafting pictures with pressed flowers. The UC Berkeley Art Museum gift shop sold Joel’s Wilderness Cards and and so did several hundred other gift shops and galleries throughout California.
In the 1980s Joel Schreck discovered digital imaging. It revolutionized his art, because it enabled him to to craft his inner landscapes in new and unimaginable ways. “I used to paint with colors. Now I paint with images.”
While Joel’s art from the1960s was gritty and monochromatic, his current art, which he calls “Photo-Graphics”, display a spectacular array of color. You may find colors in his new work that you’ve literally never seen before, a true feast for your eyes.