Joseph Rastovich is an award winning and well known public artist in Tri-Cities Washington. Working mostly in abstract and symbolic steel sculpture, he finds purpose and joy in creating public works of art that can be enjoyed by many for years to come. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon with two professional artists as parents, Joseph has been immersed in the world of art his entire life.
Joseph is an avid nature enthusiast. He prefers to spend time in nature, where he gains creative inspiration for his work from the natural world. Symbolism, aesthetics, and hidden-meanings are an important aspect of his work. Literal interpretations can mean only one thing, whereas the symbolism in the abstract genre have unique meanings for the individuals who view the work.
As a renaissance man, Joseph is on a constant quest to fuel his hunger for knowledge, skills, and experiences. At a young age, he ventured into the industrial realm of metal working. This devotion to working with metal arose from necessity and later evolved into creativity. As he states “metal is as fluid as water and as archival as stone.”
Joseph Rastovich seeks to create substantial, inspiring, and beautiful sculptures. A facet of fine culture, public art is essential to the well being our society. He believes public art increases the standard of living for all individuals in a community, thus raises the collective level of happiness. Happiness is the goal of all philosophies.
Building and creating things is in my blood and is on my mind at all times.
Having been raised by two professional artists, I have been immersed in the art world my entire life. From the beginning, I have been going to art openings, art festivals, art museums and sculpture parks. With access to creative tools and materials, I was able to explore many mediums.
Being unschooled, I was allowed to escape conventional curriculum and delve into philosophy, physics, nature, health, spirituality, aesthetics, and creativity among many other things. All of which are the basis of my artwork.
In addition, I am heavily influenced by environment, simplicity, balance, and symbolism.
At the age of 13, I acquired a job as a dishwasher at a jazz club. I spent all my money on metal working tools. At the age of 14, I created my first steel sculpture. By age 15, I entered the professional realm and have been growing ever since.
Metal is infinitely malleable. It's strength, longevity, and flexibility are attributes that I admire in material and strive for in myself.
Few things are more satisfying than the evolution of magnificent sculptures. What was raw plates of steel, becomes a potent symbol of aesthetics.
Working in the medium of metal is an honor because the requirements of experience, tools, facilities, and materials are uncommon. I am lucky to have to have accumulated all of those elements over the years.
Being a sculptor has allowed me to be free to express myself and learn about the world.
The three tools I use the most are the plasma cutter, welder, and angle grinder. Secondary tools include, the english wheel, box brake, tubing bender, oxy-acetylene, and hammers among other tools.
While I am capable of working in all types of metal whether copper, aluminum, cor-tin, or stainless, I prefer regular steel. The use of this economical yet durable material allows my sculptures to be at least 5 times larger than if they were made out of the other metals.
I know a sculpture has turned out well if it puts a smile on my face.
I love exploring new ways to advance my sculpture…
Novel uses of tools.
Incorporation of exotic materials.
The blending of skills.
The fusion of mediums
Shadows play an important role in my sculptures. Not only do shadows give depth and enhance space; they make the sculpture kinetic in the way that the shadows move and cast ethereal imprints on objects around it. Sometimes, aspect of the sculptures only become evident on examination of the shadows. Stone Henge is perhaps an example where shadows really have meaning.
When I work with metal I am reminded that a human with only flesh, bones, and consciousness can infinitely influence the seemingly unchangeable world as much as one can infinitely manipulate the apparently ridged steel.
I begin a project with a preconceived concept in mind. For commissions, I render this concept further and once approved will follow it to completion. For my own work of exploration, the preconceived concept often evolves when being carried out in physical form.
When people view my work, I intend for them to draw in, to invoke positivity, and to remember it. Art tells stories, art creates a singular space, art unites people, art conveys that which cannot be expressed any other way.
I enjoy art that is bold, abstract, symbolic, and unusual.
Art that tells a story without words.
Art that you makes you think, or better yet, feel.
My life is devoted to sculpture; the improvement of myself and the world beyond.
• Synergy (a collaboration with Michael Rastovich),
Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center, 2009
7130 W Grandridge Blvd. Ste B
Kennewick, WA 99336
• Tree of Life
Kennewick School District, 2010
500 S Dayton St.
Kennewick, WA 99336
• Fruits Of Our Labor
Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership, 2011
Corner Of W Kennewick Ave. & S Auburn St.
Kennewick, WA 99336
• Desert Grass
City of Kennewick/Richland, 2011
Traffic Circle At Leslie Blvd. and Clearwater Ave.
Richland, WA 99338
• Fire Station
City of Spokane, 2012
1615 S Spotted Rd.
Spokane, WA 99224
2012 Annual Juried Show, Allied Arts Gallery, Richland WA
Award Winner of "Best of Show" for Vortex Meridian (Juror: Kelly Lillis)
Allied Arts Gallery, Richland WA
Award Winner of the Bette Suzlinski 2011 Craftsmanship Award
Ongoing, Hunt & Gather, Portland OR
Gallery Aglow, Allied Arts Gallery, Richland WA
Give The Gift of Art, Allied Arts of Yakima, Yakima WA (invitation only)
Inspirations, You and I Gallery, Kennewick WA
Summer Celebration, Allied Arts Gallery, Richland WA. (Juror: David Harmon)
Annual Juried Show, Allied Arts of Yakima, Yakima, WA. (Juror: Rock Hushka)
Annual Members Show, Larson Museum, Yakima, WA.
509 Art Group Art Show, Washington State University, Richland WA.
Annual Juried Show, Allied Arts Gallery, Richland WA (Juror: Cheryl Hahn)
Award Winner of the “David E. Clark Memorial Merit Award”
Analare Wine Tasting Studio, Kennewick WA
This Is What I Do Show, You and I Gallery, Kennewick WA.
Badger Mountain Wine Tasting, Kennewick WA
Art Show Participation:
• Sausalito Art Festival
• Artists Open Studio Tour
• Festival of Trees
• GESA Mardi Gras
• Lawyer's & Artist’s Ball