Josh Santospirito is an “artist” – Facebook artist page
Joshua Santospirito is an illustrator, musician and a writer. Joshua grew up in suburban Melbourne, has lived in Sydney, Alice Springs and Hobart where he now lives with his veggie patch. He brews beers, ciders, perries, fruit-wines and preserves apricots … he also eats them. He has worked in mental health as a nurse for a number of years, working in Central Australian Aboriginal communities and in Hobart, Tasmania. In 2013 he started San Kessto Publications together with Nadine Kessler. He is the creator and organiser of Her Majesty’s Favourite Really Great Graphical Festival; a comics and illustrator’s festival in Hobart, Tasmania, which had its first year in June 2014 on the Queen’s birthday weekend.
His first graphic novel, The Long Weekend in Alice Springs was published in 2013 and can be bought from San Kessto Publications. This book was adapted from the 2004 essay of the same name by Craig San Roque about the psychology of cultural group behaviours. It was awarded the Chief Minister’s Northern Territory Non Fictions Book Award, the ComicOz Award for 2013 and was shortlisted at the 2014 Ledger Awards. Josh’s shorter comics can also be bought from San Kessto Publications. Josh is currently working on another two graphic novel projects.
Sleuth is another long-form comic, albeit a strange one. It’s an ongoing multi-format experimental comic series exploring spirituality in modern Australia which often takes the guise of an art exhibitions with comics spattered across walls, sometimes in print form.
Down There – In 2013 Josh decided he wanted to read more comics by artists around him in Tasmania and commenced curating a series of comics in a project called Down There. They are small, handsomely made comics printed by San Kessto Publications 2-3 times per year.
Music and Sound Art
Santospirito has performed his strange and beautiful music since 2005 under the name Drive West Today. This has included playing at various Australian festivals, including MONA FOMA, Dark MOFO, Wide Open Space, the Forest Festival and played concerts all over Australia. DWT has also had two European tours – travelling to Berlin (2008, 2012), Switzerland and Spain (2012). More information and videos of Drive West Today can be found at the Music Page of this site.
Josh has been active in promoting the experimental music scene in Australia and hosted a radio show focusing on experimental and innovative music on Edge Radio called The Musical Dissidents for 2 years, and he has also been involved in organising and curating Sound Art and experimental music events through Sound Klub in Hobart.
The most reliable way to contact Josh is e-mail – disco_jeans (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) au
You could also – follow Josh on Twitter Follow @Drivewesttoday
CV – Exhibitions
2014, August – Top Gallery, Salamanca, Hobart – The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. Santospirito and San Roque present the original art from the graphic novel.
2014, April – Sawtooth ARI, Launceston. Sleuth: the Delegation.
2013, May – The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. Santospirito and San Roque present the original art of Josh’s at Watch This Space in Alice Springs, with a book-launch at the opening on the 10th of May.
2012, November – Sleuth – Inflight Art Gallery (Hobart). Comprising numerous series of comics intersecting across the walls of the Paddy Lyn memorial space detailing an animistic reinvigoration of the Australian landscape.
- April 2012 – Its my party and I’ll die how I want to, social engagement artwork with Sara Wright, Nadine Kessler, Dr Bruce Wilson at MoMa.
- December 2010 – Dog, with Dan Murphy and Craig San Roque at Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs as part of Watching this place organised by Watch This Space Artist Run Initiative.
- December 2008 – Respond with Nadine Kessler as part of the Container Project, Taste Festival Tasmania, organised by 6a and Inflight ARI.
Comics & Zines
- The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. Full length graphic novel based on Craig San Roque’s academic essay.
- Sleuth 1 – zine produced from a larger body of work from the exhibition in Nov 2012.
- The Bluebaggers 2012 – Carlton Blues zine
- I wanna be a travella #1, 52 page comic-zine, 2012.
- The Barbarians zine made on the set of the IHOS production at MOFO 2012.
- Contributor to “Our time will come” zine #2, 2011.
- Chugnut zine #1 2011 – Group zine distributed nationally and digitally.
- History Volume 1-4 – 2008 to present – Distributed nationally.
Josh has released seven albums under the name of Drive West Today.
- 2003 – the child & the tractor
- 2004 – The balloon
- 2005 – feather
- 2006 – Is this a desert? (reviewed in Cyclic Defrost Magazine)
- 2011 – A shitload less understanding than what is required
- 2012 – Acousmatic Ecology part 1 – a query
- 2012 – pardon? Acousmatic Ecology part 2
Aussie COMIC LINKS – Josh is vaguely a member of this bunch -
Chris Downes - A Tennessee native in Tasmania
Pat Grant - extraordinary comic-er
Jo Waite – is she an owl?
Bernard Caleo - purveyor and producer of fine comic-scenes
Bobby N – please read his Digested series … or anything by him
Mandy Ord - top comic-er from Melbs – very fine stuff inDEED!
Arran McKenna - smart-arse EXTRAORDINAIRE!
Maude Farrugia - Really nice drawer
Andrew Fulton - my fave
Sam Wallman – totally yay!
Hamishi – quite strange
Marc Pearson – particularly amusing stuff
Rebecca Clements - very swish … very swish
Adi Firth - does a cracking comic about being a mother – really funny / heartbreaking / etc
Dave Mahler – does some great comics and animation too … do look!
The Comic Spot - podcast hosted by John Retallick
MUSIC and ART LINKS
Matt Warren - Hobart
Anthony Magen - Melbourne
Sound Klub - Hobart
Scot Cotterell – Hobart
Nadine Kessler - Hobart
MONA FOMA - Hobart
Wide Open Space - Alice Springs, NT
Forest Festival - Northern Tasmania