Joan Belmar was born in Santiago of Chile. He left Chile for Ibiza, Spain at the age of 24. He began painting professionally in Spain, using the Catalan name Joan for his first name John. He came to Washington, D.C. four years later in 1999 and was granted permanent residency in the U.S. based on extraordinary artistic merit in 2003.
Joan’s recent work uses a unique technique of 3-D painting. He combines his former painting and collage techniques with painted and untreated mylar and acetate strips in circles and curvilinear shapes. He places them perpendicular to a painted background and then covers them again (not always entirely) with a lightly frosted acetate or vinyl. The effect is to produce changes in transparency as light and the viewer move in relation to the work.
He was a Mayor’s Award Finalist in 2007 as an outstanding emerging artist in Washington, D.C. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities awarded him an artist fellowship grant in 2009. The Maryland State Arts Council has awarded Joan a 2010 Individual Artist grant in Visual Arts: Painting, and recently this year The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) gave him an Individual Artist Grant.
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