Joshua LaRock is quickly becoming a sought after and much-admired Classical Realist. After receiving a baccalaureate degree in Music Business at The University of Colorado, Denver in 2005, LaRock found himself compelled to explore a completely different vocation as an artist in the realm of classical painting. It was a resolute and challenging decision that led him to the Water Street Atelier, where he received tutelage from Jacob Collins. Being in New York, studying with Collins, and acquiring masterful draughtsmanship at an astonishing rate are proving to be fruitful for LaRock, and his work feels more of a mid-career artist than an emerging painter.
LaRock's works are almost an ode to the past while being filtered through his life, his point of reference. This makes his emotive portraits memorable and potent and gives his narrative pieces an eerily contemporary attitude. Even when referencing Bouguereau or using a pastoral theme, LaRock imbues a shade of the contemporaneous, drawing the viewer deeper into his world. His still life paintings almost pop off the canvas and give new reverie to the ordinary. Each work is tightly rendered and thoughtfully composed; this is in stark contrast to LaRock's en plein air landscapes, which are soft touches of color carefully recording a specific moment or truth in nature.
In 2012 LaRock’s portrait submission of his wife, Laura, was hailed as ‘deserving special attention’ during the historic America China Oil Painting Artists League (ACOPAL) exhibit at the Beijing World Art Museum. Reproductions of “Laura” quickly became the best selling souvenir throughout the extent of the Chinese tour. Since his Chinese debut LaRock has been commissioned to paint portraits of many distinguished Chinese personalities including Mrs. Wang Limei, Director of the Beijing World Art Museum, Mr. Brian Lu, Vice President and General Manager of Apple Inc. in greater China, Actress Zhou Zhi and the popular Chinese singer, Yi Liyuan. This past June, another striking painting of the artist’s wife, “Laura in Black” was exhibited as part of the 2016 BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
LaRock is represented by Collins Galleries, Cape Cod; Portraits, Inc.; Maxwell Alexander Gallery, LA; Stephen Ling, Beijing. He has participated in exhibitions throughout the US, Europe and China, has received a number of awards from the Art Renewal Center, and is a much sought out workshop instructor. -Alison Collins