10” x 12”
The focal point of this collected object assemblage is an antique pin which poses the timely question: “I AM 100% AMERICAN. ARE YOU?”. It may be debatable as to whether or not America is truly the melting pot that it has been historically promoted to be. However, it is an undeniable fact that the United States of America is and always has been a country of immigrants, which begs an even more relevant question: “Who other than First Nation Peoples is truly 100% American?” This assemblage confronts the current issue of Mexican-American immigration. The word “Mexican” is ironically spelled out in patriotic Americana scrapbooking stickers, which surround a traditional needlepoint map of the Lower 48 States. Mexico not only geographically borders the United States, but is also the origin of the latest wave of immigrants to this country. The vintage USA ashtray which houses the pin acts as a fortress for outdated cultural perceptions and attitudes. America’s greatest strength has always been embodied in the belief that anyone can be 100% American…even Serbians.
Although his university training in art is grounded in painting and drawing, the professional visual work of Joe Milosevich has evolved into found object sculpture, or what he prefers to reference as “collected object assemblage.” Since childhood, Milosevich has formally or informally collected a vast array of objects that inspire him. These keepsakes or “grail objects” are utilized as glorious trophies, powerful icons, and mysterious talismans to celebrate the people, places, and events of his life journey. Recent bodies of his work have focused on spirituality, Mexican-American relations, art vs. craft, collaboration, and vintage toys. Within all of his assemblages, Milosevich embodies a sense of beauty, consummate craftsmanship, and content that is both genuine and accessible.
Joe Milosevich has taught studio art at the college level in Kansas, Minnesota, and Illinois for over 35 years. He currently is Professor of Art and Gallery Director at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States, as well as in Italy, Austria, and Mexico. Milosevich maintains a very active year-round studio at his residence in Crest Hill, Illinois.