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Joseph Stella is all about the future.

Emigrating to the United States from the land of pizza (Naples, Italy), Joseph Stella first believed he would go to medical school. Like many overachieving kids we knew in high school, he soon changed course and began illustrating immigrant life in New York’s slums.

Not to be confused with another famous artist, Frank Stella, Joseph was considered a Futurist because of his modernist depictions of American industry and social issues. It was during a homesick trip to France and Italy, he discovered the European avant-garde (oh, lala). He attended a salon at Gertrude Stein’s residence in Paris, (aka Kathy Bates) rubbing elbows with Matisse and Picasso. During his trips abroad, Stella started a bromance with Futurist Gino Severini after attending the first major Futurist exhibition in Paris. Stella became enamored with the Futurist ideals and found major inspiration in Futurist manifesto, which admired all manly pursuits such as speed, machines, violence, and the industrial city.

He returned to New York refreshed and inspired, with Cubism and Futurism on his mind while depicting America’s own industrial scene. He is known as the first artist to bring Futurism to America. Unlike other members of the Futurist movement who liked to mansplain their politics through art, Stella resisted official association with the movement due to their misogynistic politics.

European celebrity artists weren’t the only friends of Stella. After participating in a bougie artist show with Marcel Duchamp, the two became close friends and it is rumored that Stella himself accompanied Duchamp to the plumbing supply store to purchase the urinal now infamously known as Fountain (1917).

Stella never felt at home in New York, often fleeing to Europe whenever he could. He found great solace in depicting bridges, among other elements of America’s growing industrial age. Because of his outsider status, his depictions of America were unique and he helped launch the Precisionist movement, the first home-grown modern art movement in America.


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Here is what Wikipedia says about Joseph Stella

Joseph Stella (born Giuseppe Michele Stella, June 13, 1877 – November 5, 1946) was an Italian-born American Futurist painter best known for his depictions of industrial America, especially his images of the Brooklyn Bridge. He is also associated with the American Precisionist movement of the 1910s–1940s.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Joseph Stella