Barstool Philosophers: Joseph Loughborough's mysterious charcoal and pastel portraits

In his intriguing series The Barstool Philosophers, British artist Joseph Loughborough draws multiple layers of charcoal and pastel colours finished with the heavy texture of Oilbar to create portraits of mysterious characters.

Honesty, expressionism and catharsis can be read from Joseph’s impulsive and intuitive mark making, which strive to grasp a comprehension of the human condition. Drawing inspiration from various themes concerned with Camus/Kierkegaard's notion of ‘Absurdity’, each drawing becomes a decadent theatre of emotion, sexuality and movement. Lonely human forms seem to struggle and ponder the sporadically lit space they occupy without reaching the point of a dramatic emotional encounter.

Joseph spent his formative years exploring the derelict boatyards and creeks of Portsmouth, on the south coast of the UK. After graduating from Portsmouth University he pursued interests in art, philosophy and skateboarding culture, living in London, Paris and currently Berlin.

If you love these artworks, you can purchase them via his online shop. Discover more about Joseph at or follow him on Instagram @josephloughborough.

Via Creative Boom submission | All images courtesy of the artist


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