Joy Caros
Paint images of the spirit

by Carolyn Angela Fritsch

Powerful contrast, deep emotion, vitality, rich texture - these are the elements of the art Joy Caros. Her brushes form the images of the spirit, timeless and the contemporary. Realism and surrealism are woven throughout her work.

Joy has painted commissioned portraits of Miss A. Mayrink- Veiga, Lady Rothermere of London, the five children of Adnan Kashoggi, the Beatles, Spencer Tracy, and Sammy Davis, Jr. Producer Stanley Kramer flew her to Hollywood to paint the thirteen stars of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."

When she painted Red Skelton, the master clown had just begun to paint his clown collection. He shared with Joy the secret of a specially developed white paint. His gift has had a continuing impact on the colors she uses to this day. Those colors and a unique oil painting technique that she has spent twenty-five years perfecting have made Joy an internationally recognized leader in her specialized media.

Joy introduces another perspective. "I want to give people a foothold in realism and then draw them deeper into the symbols of surrealism," she states. So, she paints a clown to speak of life with its deceiving masks, the female nude to represent the tenderness of the soul and spirit, a man of blue to show the coldness of the ego which thinks only of itself, and the eagle which is the image of freedom. "I see in animals a sweet beauty and strength and I see this also in people." In her painting "Harmony" the horse's mane flows into and becomes the woman's hair. Horse and woman share the spirit of the strength and speed needed to live in these times.

The surrealist approach also achieves one direct thought in each painting. The background is free from distractions and so intensifies the impact. "Nothing softens the blow," Joy points out. There is softeness, however - vulnerability, if you like - in her realism. A distinctive mark of her work is the tear - so real that the temptation is to wipe it away.

"Why do I paint? I paint because it was born in me to paint. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew there was something inside of me that made me have to paint. I just didn't know the name of that something, then."