In the work of Joel Rea, the ancient world, the modern world, and the god-like power of the elements come together to create shocking moments of recognition and humility. 

Joel Rea is an acclaimed, award-winning artist known for his surreal, allegorical paintings. Rea’s oil on canvas works straddle hyperrealism, photorealism, and virtuosic Renaissance realism. Through impeccable brushwork, Rea has created a unique, socially aware, and introspective style. Inspired by the mysteries of the animal kingdom and the Universe, Rea’s narratives embrace the ageless turmoil of human consciousness and the unwavering survival instinct.

Rea combines contemporary visuals with the sublime to provoke emotional responses through masterful aesthetics. With his rigorous technical practice, Rea produces only three to four paintings per year, with each piece requiring thousands of hours of designing and painting, millions of brushstrokes, and worldwide photo shoots.

Notable Sales by Joel Rea

“Time Wave” follows on the heels of Rea’s genesis drop, “The Gold Tiger” and the followup, “Giant Puppy.” “Gold Tiger” grossed $462,000 in sales across 56 works (a mix of 1/1 and limited edition work). In early 2022, Rea released the 1/1 NFT titled “The Hungry and the Hunted,” which sold for 5 ETH ($13,851 at the sale). The same year, a collector flipped a $1 Rea NFT for $1,762, a price increase of $176,100%. 

With a 19-year career behind him and more than 315,000 Instagram followers watching him, collectors are currently on a 2+-year waiting list for Rea’s original paintings, exhibited worldwide and held in prominent university and museum collections. 

Rea’s “meatspace” artworks are highly coveted, with high-profile collectors such as Joe Rogan, fashion editor Tim Blanks, beauty CEO Chris Salgardo, and singer Kelly Rowland actively collecting his works. Original paintings have sold for $17,000 AUD (~$14,000 USD), and (more recently) $75,000 AUD (~$58,000 USD) for his piece Crossroads. Rea’s past collaborators include Kelly Rowland, Gary Vee, and KSwiss shoes. 

Joel Rea in the News

The Drop: Time Wave

This series of surreal, ocean-based artworks was created by combining Joel Rea’s immense references from collecting, global photoshoots, and thousands of hours of oil painting. 

Intrigued with notions of the oceans’ duality, traversing adulthood, and how dark events changed the artist’s perspective of the sea, Rea attempts to present an original depiction of the scale of time through the juxtaposition of immensely diverse natural elements. 

Rea’s narratives celebrate Earth as a life-generating system harnessing mysterious forces while also questioning what drives the complex layers of existence within our ancient planet.

A Fire Inside – 1/1 Auction

Joel Rea breathes fresh life into this surreal self-portrait as his newly animated wolf skull spits fire in a symbolic expression of every individual artwork’s unlimited potential. With digital technologies, Rea’s inferno signifies an infinity of new possibilities that painting alone cannot offer.

Editions: One
Pricing: Accepting Offers Only
Medium: Oil on canvas painting animated with After Effects

*A 24-hour auction will be triggered once the reserve price is met.

Echo Repeat – Limited Edition

Joel Rea created the painting ‘Echo Repeat’ shortly after visiting the American Museum of Natural History. The painting is set in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, a grand space featuring the iconic dinosaur exhibit. The artist reimagines the famous interior, introducing a large breaking wave and featuring spectators studying their ancestors’ ghost-like specters. Rea’s intensely detailed artwork presents an original depiction of our world’s time scale through the painter’s inventive juxtaposition of extremely diverse natural elements.

Echo Repeat by Joel Rea

Editions: 5
Pricing: $999
Medium: Oil on canvas painting and digital artwork

*Limited edition artworks will be available for a flat rate; first come, first buy. The last edition will be auctioned with a reserve price of $999.

The Patient One – Limited Edition

Riding the crest of a long building wave, the lion is not hindered by the tumultuous ocean as he lies in wait. Now the patient jungle king has arrived. His time has come. Joel Rea portrays nature as pulsating energy that is both majestic and threatening in this rare creation inspired by themes of self-possession.

The Patient One by Joel Rea

Editions: 5
Pricing: $999
Medium: Oil on canvas painting and digital artwork

*Limited edition artworks will be available for a flat rate; first come, first buy. The last edition will be auctioned with a reserve price of $999.

Soft Inside – $1 Collectors Raffle

This eccentric Joel Rea painting radiates a sonic power, a screaming self-portrait of a howling wolf stripped of all its living flesh, corrosive salt water, and its new lifeblood.

Soft Inside by Joel Rea

Editions: 10
Pricing: $1
Medium: Oil on canvas painting and digital artwork

*Exclusive to Joel Rea collectors only. You must own at least one Joel Rea artwork issued through MakersPlace (includes this Drop).

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