Joseph Ari Aloi AKA JK5 – a book review

May 8, 2014







A week ago I marched down (or “trained” as I didn’t really go on foot and took the train, badum tisshhhhh) to London to meet up with Joseph Ari Aloi, the artist I interviewed a couple of weeks ago, and attend his book signing at the opening of Seven Doors Tattoo, on Fashion Street. I wanted to get some nice photos of the event but it was so crowded I didn’t even take my camera out. I have committed everything to my memory though, and I am so glad I didn’t miss this event.

Meeting Joseph has been an interesting experience in itself – you see, he is a very creative and complex person and his creative energy is extremely contagious. I don’t think anyone can remain indifferent to his character and intense personality, I know I haven’t. After I read the book it all made even more sense and I saw, by reading all the essays by other people, that I’m not the only one. Joseph is the kind of person with such a good and intense vibe that you can’t help but feel it. This time I didn’t get the chance to have a tattoo done by Joseph but it’s on my list of things I want to do in the future (maybe the next time I’m in NYC?). More importantly, I have gained a friend and those can be hard to come by.

The pages on his notebooks are a reflection of what goes on in his mind, always imaginative, always searching. The visual and verbal puns are extremely funny and clever – the ever present Star Wars references and the Hello Kitty ones especially made me chuckle. There are so many layers to Joseph’s work that you can stare at these pages for hours, go back and still find something new, some new meaning, a tiny hidden character or symbol. His spirituality, ideas, pain and happiness are all there, in an honest and overwhelming visual torrent, that is impossible to absorb in its entirety. His visual language is full of references, pop culture, logos, spirituality, toys, Star Wars, sex, symbols and rune-like pictograms. Some can be hard to decipher or understand the meaning of but that doesn’t take away from how visually stimulating it all is.

The book is a beautiful edition by Rizzoli, 240 pages of pure visual delight, a monograph of Joseph’s life and work over the last 12 years with a few pages of the previous years. You can find it on Amazon and selected bookstores everywhere – get it, you won’t regret it. I know I haven’t.

If you would like to know some more of Joseph’s work head on to: Tumblr blog and website.

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  • Reply KizzyDoll May 8, 2014 at 12:15

    Hiya lovely!! This book looks really interesting…am glad you made it on the train. That would have terrible to miss. I think I will have to get this book as I like to be able to touch the pages and look at the writings…looks marvellous. I hope you’re having a great day as well doll, thank you for the sweet comment, I think you’re amazing too!! Love ya lots :)) xx

    • Reply Mrs. D May 9, 2014 at 20:17

      It really is marvelous, so much to look at and take in… like all art should be 🙂

  • Reply ernø May 8, 2014 at 19:52

    lovely book

    • Reply Mrs. D May 9, 2014 at 20:16

      Thank you. I think you would thoroughly enjoy it!

  • Reply Coco May 9, 2014 at 17:11

    It looks super, thanks for sharing!!
    Coco et La vie en rose / Bloglovin / Facebook

    • Reply Mrs. D May 9, 2014 at 20:07

      Thank you, I am glad you like it!

  • Reply Jet aka Punk Glam Queen May 10, 2014 at 05:00

    I’m so glad you got to go! Maybe next time you’re in NY we can both get tattooed by Joseph! The book looks scrumptious, will have to get a copy so I can drool all over it! I’m happy it all came together and you found a new friend! Just call me “the puppet master!” hahaha! XXX <3

    • Reply Mrs D May 12, 2014 at 08:48

      Haha, it’s a plan! I’ll start saving straight away 🙂

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