Josh Byer :: Meet The Artist Who Put Faux Fauvism on the Map

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One of the best ways to tell your story is by showcasing the art you like. You see art is so much more than a mere image. Art stirs emotions and resonates feelings. It floods our brain with impact-full information while it may trigger questions like Why? or How? What does it mean? It is for that very reason that works of art are such great conversation starters too. Their aesthetic provokes a mindful engagement. That’s exactly what I felt while looking at the work of Canadian based artist, Josh Byer. I felt as being part of an ongoing deliberation between everyday life scenes and surreal daydreaming… and it’s been a while since I last saw art that got me engaged. That’s why I want to share with you the work of Josh Byer, a pioneer of Faux Fauvism who put this art genre on the map.

A painting by Josh Buyer named The Flowers are the Band.
The Flowers are the Band
mixed media on paper
14” x 17”

I was captivated by the colors and patterns that seem to take on so many different forms (real and unreal). Everything in Byer‘s art works seems to have a flow that carries an energizing momentum. They are loud, but in a very poetic way. They are eccentric and yet, quite balanced. The compositions are lively and exciting, yet each form is an entity with a stand-alone quality. And the colors are absolutely mesmerizing proving what I’ve been preaching for so long that: it’s not about how many colors you use in a scheme, but how you make them work for you as a composition. It’s all about the synthesis.

A painting by Josh Buyer named Country Road.
Country Road
mixed media on paper
14” x 17”

Josh Byer has managed to give the art genre of Fauvism, led by Henri Matisse and André Derain, a new interpretation and as a result create a new art genre. His unrealistic approach caught my attention and drove me to continuously pursue to discover hidden gems and meanings. He got me hooked, just like so many others. It is no wander that his art work has been featured in hundreds of publications including VICE, OPALUS,, The ARTBO, Creative Boom, and 1968 Magazine. His paintings have been exhibited internationally alongside the work of Matisse, Picasso, Dali, and The Group of Seven. Therefore, since I wanted to know more, he kindly agreed to participate in this interview.

Josh Byer :: The Interview

What sets Faux Fauvism apart from other art genres?

Faux Fauvism is the study of pattern recognition. The goal of Faux Fauvism is to trigger a “cloudgazing” effect – a state of waking hallucination, where the viewer is uncertain if the painting they are viewing is a deliberate composition or a projection of their own imagination.

A painting by Josh Buyer named In the Vines.
In The Vines
mixed media on paper
14” x 17”

Who do you admire the most and why? Has he/she influenced your art in any way?

My mom first taught me about fine art. All of my paintings are dedicated to her memory. My dad is pretty cool too. Artists I enjoy are Ed Emberley, Matisse, Picasso, and Seurat.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Contract law.

A painting by Josh Buyer named Buntzen Lake.
Buntzen Lake
mixed media on paper
14” x 17”

A cliché question: What are your inspiration sources? (I’m assuming that there are more than one).

I’m inspired by animals, sustainable living, and good music. I’m also a fan of good documentaries.

A personal question: What goes on in your mind while painting?

Painting is like playing a game of Go against yourself. When there are no more moves available, the game is done.

A painting by Josh Buyer named Chesterman Beach in November.
Chesterman Beach in November
mixed media on paper
14” x 17”
A painting by Josh Buyer named The Burrard Street Bridge
The Burrard Street Bridge
mixed media on paper
14” x 17”

What’s your favorite medium and why?

Dr. Martin’s #7H Pthalo Blue liquid watercolor. It’s bright blue but dark and somehow glows in daylight.

A painting by Josh Buyer named 1901 in Vancouver.
1901 in Vancouver
mixed media on paper
14” x 17”

Do you have a favorite painting and if so why that one?

Not yet.

What are your future plans?

Nap, burrito, coffee.

A painting by Josh Buyer named Cloudgazers.
mixed media on paper
14” x 17”
A painting by Josh Buyer named A Mermaid Catches her Dinner.
A Mermaid Catches her Dinner
mixed media on paper
14” x 17”

Please note that all of the dimensions mentioned are in reference to the original works. However, licensed wall art decor is available in much larger sizes and can be found at various outlets including SaatchiWalmart, Wayfair,, Posterlounge, Amazon, AllPosters, and Great Big Canvas. Now, I’m not affiliated to any of them in any way, but I thought I make it easier for you to find what you might like best by including the links.

Afterthoughts on Faux Fauvism

Needless to say that, I think Byer’s works of art are a glimpse of the artist’s psyche. They are diverse and vibrant with a story to tell on canvas and a unique style that engages the audience and hence, they would make a great addition to any home whose owners appreciate fine art.

Personally, I have a couple favorites, but I won’t tell till you let me know yours…;)

Stay inspired,

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