Acrylic and mixed media on panel,
72"h x 60"w, Item No. 18519,
Joe Rogan is a stand up comic, mixed martial artist and fanatic, psychedelic adventurer, and host of the Joe Rogan Experience— a popular podcast that, in his words, is “a long form conversation with friends and guests that have included comedians, actors, musicians, MMA fighters, authors, artists, and beyond”. A stand-up comedian for over twenty years, Rogan is also well-known and beloved as a color commentator for the UFC; as well as for his roles in various films, television series, and reality shows.
As a boy, Joe Rogan moved around a lot; his family was financially insecure, and he was raised in a single parent household. As a result, he was unable to forge lasting friendships early on, and was sometimes picked on and lonely as the perpetual new kid. However, by age 13, he found stability, confidence, and camaraderie— as well as a lifelong passion— in the form of martial arts. In his teen years, he was the Tae Kwon Do champion for four consecutive years, and, by the age of 19, he had won the US Open Tae Kwon Do championship as a Lightweight, and went on to beat both the Middleweight and Heavyweight champions.
I have chosen to celebrate Joe Rogan because, in these highly polarized times in which mainstream media is decidedly “red” or “blue”; and the algorithms of social media reflect back to the user her own beliefs; and every individual is frequently placed in a position where they must choose an idealogical ‘side’- with zero space for nuance; Rogan strives to provide the opposite. The Joe Rogan Experience transcends idealogy by virtue of the fact that it gives platform to voices that span the political spectrum— from radical leftists like Brother Dr. Cornel West; to socialists such as Bernie Sanders; to Libertarian independent journalists like Glenn Greenwald and Jimmy Dore; to conservatives like Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens; to environmentalists like Paul Stamets and Michael Pollan. His guests are often visionary voices in the fields of astrophysics, biology, stem cell research, neuroscience: respected scientists at the vanguard of their fields of expertise like Neil deGrasse Tyson; Andrew Huberman; David Sinclair. Uniquely singular Humans like Quentin Tarantino, Wim Hof, and Elon Musk. Just as I seek out a myriad of subjects to research and portray— subjects from all walks of life who inspire me. Likewise while Rogan’s guests hold views and perspectives he may not agree with completely— he is nonetheless curious to learn more about. We are at a point in our Humanity when this humble, genuinely interested, openminded, and openhearted attitude and approach to life is increasingly rare— yet more valuable than ever.