Joseph Vorgity is a contemporary realist watercolorist and printmaker. His still life, landscape, and figurative subject matter are recongnized by strong flat areas of color with sharp lines to delineate shapes. Some themes are narrative, others have a surreal quality while many are created primarily for their beauty and visual impact. Some of the figurative pieces are modeled after traditional religious pictures of saints and deities while others are related to figures in Japanese woodblock prints of the early 20th century. His strongest influences come from the American Precisionist Movement, the Arts and Craft Movement, and from Japonisme. A majority of Vorgity's woodblock prints are made in the Provincetown white line style. Multi-color prints are pulled from one matrix block with a white line separating each color shape. The prints area hand rendered with watercolor giving them the visual quality of paintings. Each white line print has an anticipated edition of 50. Vorgity was introduced to the method in 1982 by Ferol Sibley Warthen, a major proponent of the technique in Provincetown. Joseph also produces traditional limited edition multi-color woodblock prints, and Japanese moku hanga woodblock prints. He studied the Japanese technique with Takuji Hamanaka, Matthew Brown, and William Paden. Having first studied advertising and illustration in his home town of Philadelphia, Vorgity moved to New York City in 1978 to attend the painting program at the School of Visual Arts. Don Nice, Don Eddy, and Elizabeth Murray were influential teachers. He holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and later received a Master's Degree from Fordham University. Joseph was an educator on the elementary and secondary levels for 18 years. He has also worked for the wardrobe departments of Broadway and Opera productions. He was featured in an article about his woodblock prints in the October 1999 issue of American Artist Magazine.
In his graphic work, Endi Poskovic invokes influences as disparate as early cinema, classic Japanese woodcut prints, devotional pictures, and Eastern European propaganda posters. By combining visual representation with text, Poskovic shifts the reading of the image by providing a new context for the viewer to continually reinterpret. Reminiscent of youthful whimsy and playful fantasy, the unsettling juxtapositions and invented constructions in Poskovic’s prints convey a sense of the habitual, like a window into the everyday reality of a different world. The hybridized narratives of toy-like objects and fantastic landscapes in Poskovic’s work imply stories from personal and social histories, referencing themes of displacement, shifting cultural identity, environmental transformation, migration, and alienation—all of which are presented in images that are as tragic as they are magnificent.Endi Poskovic was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in1969. From an early age he studied music and art, which eventually led to performances of traditional music and songs of the Balkans at festivals throughout Europe and the Middle East. Poskovic completed his B.F.A. at the University of Sarajevo Academy of Fine Arts in 1990. A Minnefindet Scholarship, funded by the Norwegian government, enabled him to live in Norway for a year to study art as well as the Nynorsk language and culture. From Norway, Poskovic moved to the United States to study with Harvey Breverman and Adele Henderson at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned his M.F.A. in 1993.Poskovic has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, most recently from the John D. Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center in Italy and the Open Studio Centre in Canada. Other notable awards include grants and fellowships from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Camargo Foundation in France, MacDowell Colony, Art Matters Foundation, New York State Arts Council, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Indiana Arts Commission, Confucius Institute, Durfee Foundation, Flemish Ministry of Culture-Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, McColl Center for Visual Arts, Can Serrat International Art Centre in Spain, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Kala Art Institute, Valparaiso Foundation in Spain, and the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.Widely exhibited, Poskovic has presented his prints in some of the most prestigious venues for print media, most recently in the 14th Taipei International Print Biennial, and the 2009 Krakow International Print Triennial. He has also shown work in the Egyptian International Print Triennial, La Biennale Internationale d'Estampe Contemporaine de Trois-Rivières in Canada, Deutsche Internationale Grafik-Triennale in Frechen, Tallinn International Triennial in Estonia, Xylon International Triennale in France, and Ljubljana International Graphic Arts Biennale in Slovenia. Comprehensive surveys of Poskovic’s prints have been organized by the Philadelphia Print Center in 2001, the Des Moines Art Center in 2006, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in 2007, and again in 2008 by the Frans Masereel Museum in Belgium—which traveled to Stad Leuven Academie en Conservatorium and Atelier Vrije Grafiek, Academie voor Beeldende Kunst-Ghent.Works by Endi Poskovic are in many permanent collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Royal Antwerp Museum of Fine Arts, Centre National des Arts Plastiques in Cairo, the Fogg Art Museum—Harvard University, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, New Orleans Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art in California, the Kennedy Museum of American Art, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, Des Moines Art Center, Seattle Arts Commission, The Krakow International Print Triennial Society Museum of Art, Tampa Museum of Fine Arts, Vaasa Ostrobothnian Museum in Finland, and the Musée d'Art Contemporain Fernet Branca-Saint-Louis in France.Poskovic is a Professor at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, as well as at the University of Michigan Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.Poskovic’s current series of lithographic prints and animations are a roman à clef reminiscing Mostar, a city with several distinct ethnic communities in Southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through faith in the process of drawing, the series offers a personal tale of displacement and discovery.