Mapping Joey Favino’s World of Art

The Other Saint Paul Island, Joey Favino

The Other Saint Paul Island, Joey Favino

Joey Favino is both Cartographer and artist. Cartography is the study and technique of making maps, and maps usually provide precise spatial information about physical locations. But while Joey Favino’s take on painting is based on geography and cartography, he completely divorces landforms from any mapping data, leaving the viewer with only shapes to contemplate, often in repeating patterns.

“Are they representational or abstract? Take your pick,” says the artist.

For his painting titled The Other Saint Paul Island, artist Joey Favino says, “Saint Paul Island is located in the Barents Sea, about 300 miles (450 km) off Alaska. My previous paintings featuring the French island of the same name (in the Indian Ocean) led me to seek an alternate namesake. The stark, harsh beauty of the island and its icy surroundings are portrayed by the “cold” and subdued pallet, with the iridescent background hinting at the icy reflection of a low subarctic sunset.”

New Zealand, Joey Favino

New Zealand, Joey Favino

Artist Joey Favino remembers how he liked to look at maps when he was a little boy and when a sophomore in high school, he says,  “I needed an excuse to spend my lunch period in the nice warm library during upstate New York’s winter, so I claimed that I was there to consult an atlas. Within weeks that was my actual purpose there. I postered my room with maps.”

He likens a good map to a piece of art–“I don’t mean old Renaissance maps with ornate borders and cute drawings taking up space where areas are just unexplored… Y’ever look at a Raven map of Idaho? Okay, it’s an esoteric sort of beauty (remember, a map is just a specialized graph, a reference tool), but mapping seemed to be the best path for me to pursue, both very analytical and numeric AND strictly graphic and holistic.”

Hilo, Joey Favino

Great Salt Lake Hi-Lo, Joey Favino

After earning his B.S. in Cartography, Mr. Favino tried unsuccessfully to start a career in the field–“At the time, operating a stereoscope was the standard toe-in-the-door. That’s problematic for me: I’m blind in one eye.” So, he started doing odd jobs and traveled around the United States. On his travels he engaged in a lot of correspondence–writing letters by hand on paper. “Three times now, a series of well-written letters has gotten me to the other side of the planet to be toured around by a local for a couple of weeks, for nothing more than the cost of airfare (Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Maui), so my wanderlust and my bent for geography have been rather satisfied,” explains Favino.

While in Maui, he watched as a commercial artist of note painted a couple of paintings and decided that he should try his hand at it. Favino says of his painting practice, “It quickly became second nature, and both my innate fascination with geographic forms and my learned way of presenting them, with a little twist of well-traveled perspective (for lack of stereo perspective?), both seem to collaborate in some way in each piece I create.”

Cape Quad Cape Cod, Joey F

Cape Quad Cape Cod, Joey Favino

Favino’s take on Cape Cod’s distinctive shape was to repeat it four times in his painting Cape Quad Cape Cod with swirling blues to represent the deep, cold Atlantic waters in Cape Cod Bay and Buzzard Bay.

For his six-panel piece of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the various tones and line patterns contrast the shoreline at its lowest recorded water level (in 1963) against its highest (in 1986). Two large and three small islands can be seen, as well as the distinction between Northern and Southern parts of the vast inland sea created by the solid railroad causeway crossing the lake. Almost mimicking one’s perception on the shore, the whole thing shimmers against its desert surroundings.

Pyramid Lake, Joey Favino

Pyramid Lake, Joey Favino

For Pyramid Lake, Favino again chose a repetition of four. Pyramid Lake is an eerie, alkaline or saline lake about forty miles northeast of Reno and which consists mostly of the outflow from Lake Tahoe. In this four-panel work, the artist uses browns to color the lake itself (somewhat resembling the gray-brown of the lake’s water), with fiery reds and pinks between each mirrored pair to symbolise of the stark high-altitude desert surroundings. The green spots of paints is Anejo Island, the largest in the lake.

Ascension, Joey Favino

Ascension, Joey Favino

The small island of Ascension, a British possession in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, repeated five times in Joey Favino’s painting Ascension, as first glance resembles a beautiful flower, but also reminds me of a vintage oyster plate. The green area of each “petal” corresponds to Green Mountain, the only hill tall enough on the otherwise Mars-like island to have a fair amount of rainfall and thick vegetation.

Joey Favino

Joey Favino

Joey Favino’s art is on display through the end of September at THE GRIND coffeehouse in Cedar City, Utah

View Joey Favino’s Flootie portfolio here.

Visit Joey Favino’s website

Follow his Blog/Newsletter:

Feature Article by Marie Kazalia, Artist Marketing Resources



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.