As a young child, Joe Kronenberg drew voraciously. Today, as an adult, he is an artist on a mission.
“As an artist in the 21st century, I strive to create paintings that embody the aesthetic and objective standards of the 19th century European academic art world,” he says. It’s a style he believes has been lost in an instant-gratification world.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Kronenberg filled his room—as well as the rest of the house—with realistic artwork of the area’s grandeur. In his mind, it was just a matter of time before he would become an artist. That dream, however, was derailed for 20 years after his first disappointing foray into art school.
Kronenberg enrolled at a local commercial art college in 1987 but, before the year was up, he knew he didn’t belong there. He doesn’t blame the school; he blames the instructors who weren’t teaching what he wanted to learn. “The instructors emphasized expressionism,” he says. “If you were doing realism, which is what I wanted to study, you were encouraged to instead do the [instructors’] style of art. That was a big turnoff for me.”
29″ by 48″
“Two horses are tied to a hitching post in the cold, pouring rain while their owners are likely warm and bellied up to the bar waiting on the storm to pass. Not to worry, their saddles are being kept dry with these two cowboy’s slickers draped over them.”
24″ by 36″
“It was my hope to portray a scene that could have played out among many Sioux tribes in the mid- to late 19th century. Having been displaced from their homes and belongings, this group huddles around a fire for warmth. The figure on the right holds a peace medal, likely given to him by a government agent as a sign of peace and friendship, as he prepares to throw it into the fire.”