Joe Kotas is a Chicago-area painter originally from Buffalo, New York. He is a self-taught artist who quit his engineering job doing nuclear pipe stress analysis to become an artist, working as a waiter to support a Bohemian lifestyle.
Kotas was a founding member of the anarchist art-movement known as Tapeworm; a group which staged "happenings" and performance art in New York City in the 1980s. The importance of risk and humor are perhaps the most important lessons gleaned from the Tapeworm art movement.
Action has always played a dominant role in the development of Joe's artist's oeuvre and the influence of alternative art forms and mediums can be seen in Joe's willingness to destroy in order to create. He prefers to staple canvas directly to the floor in order to adequately distress his surfaces. Getting paint to do unusual things by throwing, scraping or generally battering the materials is what he strives for. Joe uses liquid paint in squeeze bottles, and he developed a revolutionary new paint application method known as the "Pendulum Painting" which features a swinging bottle of paint on a string.