Skip to content

Joe Coleman is a world-renowned painter, writer and performer who has exhibited for four decades in major museums throughout the world including one-man exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, the Barbican Centre in London, Tilton Gallery and Dickinson Gallery in New York. He was recently featured in the ground-breaking "Unrealism" show in Miami presented by Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian.

His performance work from the 1980's was some of the most radical of its time, and can be seen in the films Mondo New York (1988) and Captured (2008). The new book on extreme performance, Avant Garde from Below: Transgressive Performance from Iggy Pop to Joe Coleman and G.G. Allin by Clemens Marschall, explores Coleman's influence during this pivotal period.

An avid and passionate collector, Coleman's "Odditorium" is a private museum where sideshow objects, wax figures, crime artifacts and works of religious devotion live together to form a dark mirror that reflects the alternative side of the American psyche. His work has been published in numerous books, prints and records.

Joe Coleman was the subject of an award-winning feature length documentary, Rest in Pieces: A Portrait of Joe Coleman (1997). He has appeared in acting roles in films such as Asia Argento's Scarlet Diva (2000) and The Cruel Tale of the Medicine Man (2015). He lives with his wife Whitney Ward in Brooklyn, New York.

1955, Norwalk, CT
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY


Joe Coleman: 100 Seconds to Midnight, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY

Joe Coleman and the Shadow Self, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY

Doorway to Joe: The Art of Joe Coleman, Begovich Gallery, California State University, Fullerton, CA

Joe Coleman: Auto-Portrait, Dickinson Gallery, New York, NY

Devotio Moderno: Joe Coleman/Northern Primitives, Dickinson Gallery, New York, NY

Joe Coleman: Internal Digging, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany
Joe Coleman: 14 Paintings, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

Joe Coleman: 30 Paintings and a Selection from the Odditorium, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, NY

Recent Paintings, The Odditorium, Presented by Jim Corcoran at Ernie Wolf Gallery, Los Angeles

Joe Coleman: Matrix 139, The Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT

Original Sin, The Horse Hospital, London, England

Joe Coleman, Ann Nathan Gallery, Chicago, IL

Joe Coleman: Painting & Assemblages, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Joe Coleman: Infernal Machine, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The Physical Manifestation of Internal Pain, Psychedelic Solution, New York, NY

Joe Coleman/Recent Works, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Joe Coleman, Chronocide Gallery, New York, NY

Joe Coleman, Chronocide Gallery, New York, NY


Small Paintings, Venus Over Manhattan, New York, NY
Field Trip: Psychedelic Solution, curated by Fred Tomaselli, Outsider Art Fair, New York, NY
Luncheon on the Grass, Jeffery Deitch, Los Angeles, CA

Seen in the Mirror, Things from the Cartin Collection, David Zwirner, New York, NY

We Shall Make America Wonder, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY

Unrealism, Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian, Moore Building, Miami, FL
When the Curtain Never Comes Down, American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY

Raw Vision: 25 Years of Art Brut, Halle Saint Pierre, Paris, France
Hey! Modern Art & Pop Culture Part II, Halle Saint Pierre, Paris, France

One on One, KW Institute, Berlin, Germany

Houdini: Art and Magic, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY
The Endless Renaissance, Bass Museum, Miami, FL
The Triptych in Modern Art, KunstMuseum, Stuttgart, Germany
Man Son 1969 - The Horror of the Situation, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany

Subject, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT

Wormhole, Franz Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands
Acquiring Taste, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT

The Circus in Twentieth Century Art, The Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT
Hieronymus Bosch, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
War and Peace, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD

The End is Near! American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD

Cult Rapture Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA


Joe Coleman and the Shadow Self, Market Hotel, Brooklyn, NY

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown “Lower East Side”
Live From Miskatonic: Joe Coleman - Stealing Fire: The Mastery of the Outsider (Live conversation and film presentation.), Film Noir Cinema, Brooklyn, NY
The Doorway to Joe: The Art of Joe Coleman (A conversation between the artist and writer, Harold Schechter.), Greenwood Cemetery Chapel, Brooklyn, NY

Joe Coleman with Lydia Lunch, Berlin, New York, NY
Asia Argento and Friends, Salo, Paris

Into the Night with Jim Rose and Joe Coleman (Arte TV, Germany), Nantes, France
Killing Time: The Chronology of Creativity in Outsider Art (panel discussion), Outsider Art Fair, New York, NY

The Plutonium Particle Fission Follies (Vaudeville performance with Billy Leroy and Lorraine Leckie), The Slipper Room, New York, NY
The Cruel Tale of the Medicine Man (Feature directed by James Habacker. Joe plays title character in this burlesque horror thriller)

Don Peyote (Feature film by Mike Canzoniero. Joe plays John the Baptist)

One on One (Performance installation), KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance (Feature documentary by John Borowski. Interview with and artwork by Joe)

Performance with legendary sideshow impresario Ward Hall Sideshow by the Seashore/Coney Island, NY

Derring Do (performance), Sideshow by the Seashore/Coney Island, NY
Bit Rare Fiend (Short film directed by Joe), One Dream Rush Film Festival, Beijing, China
Monsterland (TV documentary by Jörg Buttgereit, Joe appears as a talking head)

Albert Fish (Documentary feature by John Borowski. Interview with and images by Joe)
Lecture at The Mindstates Conference, Costa Rica, Central America
Into the Night with Joe Coleman and Asia Argento (Arte TV, Germany) NYC

Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (Feature film by Julian Hobbs. Joe plays Dr. Moritz Schreber)

Retinal Stigmatics: An Evening with Joe Coleman (Live multi-media event.), Fantasia Festival, Montreal, Canada

Someplace in Nowhere (Joe’s “opera” performed with original score by Norwegian band, Motorpsycho), Festpillenne-Bergen International Festival, Bergen, Norway
Someplace in Nowhere (Joe’s “opera” performed with original score by Scottish band, The Delgados)
“Outsider Art/Music,” The Barbican Centre Theatre, London, England

Scarlet Diva (Feature by Asia Argento. Joe plays a sleazy Hollywood producer based on Harvey Weinstein)

Clayton Patterson Presents: Joe Coleman (Verite’ video portrait by Patterson.) M/W/F Video Club, Staten Island, NY
An Audience with the Artist (Q & A at UK launch party for his solo exhibition, Original Sin), The Horse Hospital, London, UK

R.I.P.: Rest in Pieces/A Portrait of Joe Coleman (Feature documentary about Joe Coleman by Robert Pejo.)

Black Hearts Bleed Red (Independent film by Jeri Cain Rossi. Joe plays a major role as “The Misfit.”)

Shadows in the City (Feature by Ari Roussimoff. Joe plays “Mephisto.”)

Final performance as “Mombooze-o”
Boston Film and Video Foundation, Boston, MA

Mondo New York (Documentary feature by Harvey Keith. Joe is featured doing a preaching geek performance)
Professor Mombooze-o Performance, Hotel Amazon, New York, NY

Where Evil Dwells (Film by David Wojnarowicz and Tommy Turner. Joe plays Satan)

Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed (Film by Manuel Delanda. Joe wrote and did voiceover.)

Professor Mombooze-o Performance, The Kitchen, New York, NY

Ten-year High School Reunion Performance (Joe impersonates deceased class member, Doug Sprag.), Oceanside, L.I, NY.

Raw Nerves (Film by Manuel Delanda, co-written by Joe.)

Incontinence: A Diarrhetic Flow of Mismatches (Film by Manuel Delanda. Joe’s first appearance on film as “Professor Mombooze-o.”)
Uncle Ted’s Ghoul Show (Pennsylvania Cable TV show. Joe cameos as a “monster robot” and “Rondo the Self-decapitating Wonder.”

The Uncle Floyd Show (Joe as “Mad Dog” performs with band The Steel Tips on children’s TV show.), New Jersey Cable TV

Joe performs with his band The Steel Tips.


The Book of Joe: The Art of Joe Coleman, 2003, Limited edition with hand-made etching, published by Last Gasp and La Luz de Jesus books

Joe Coleman: Internal Digging, 2007, published by KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin Germany, Foreward by Susanne Pfeffer

Original Sin: The Visionary Art of Joe Coleman, 1997, With essays by Jim Jarmusch, Harold Schechter, John Yau, Heck Editions

Joe Coleman’s Muzzlers, Guzzlers and Good Yeggs, 2006, From Publisher’s Weekly, published by Fantagraphics Books

The Man of Sorrows, 1993, Limited edition collector’s piece

Cosmic Retribution: The Infernal Art of Joe Coleman, 1992, Edited by Adam Parfrey and Pat Moriarity

Joe Coleman: Auto-Portrait, Catalogue raisonné for Simon Dickinson Exhibition of the same name

The Mystery of Wolverine Woo-Bait, 2004, published by Fantagraphics Books



Museum of Everything, London

Spencer Art Museum, Lawrence, Kansas


Back To Top