Artist Profile | Michael Murphy Gallery

Joseph Warren


Based in Central Florida, artist Joseph Warren earned his MFA from the University of Wisconsin in Painting, Drawing and Design, then taught drawing at Wayne State University early in his career.  He also taught Painting and Drawing and headed the Fine Art Department at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya.  After returning to the U.S. from his time in Africa, Joe’s career evolved from fine art to hospitality design and he began a long, successful career with Walt Disney Imagineering.   As the Lead Creative Director, he managed a team of artists and creative design-driven projects for the Walt Disney portfolio.  His artistic skill allowed him to create artwork for reproduction and many of his designs, murals and pictorial illustrations are on display across the Disney theme parks and resorts, including a portrait of Walt Disney himself, currently on display at the Disney Golden Oaks Resort Clubhouse.

Warren, now retired, has been painting full time since 2013 and his contemporary work is a synthesis of his experiences from Africa to Disney and everything in between.  “My Disney experience has taught me about story telling, both linearly and experientially, the ‘suspension of disbelief,’ fantasy, the whimsical and a place for humor.” 

The saturated color palette in his works is intentional as well as an active, painterly surface.  Interplay of local and fugitive color, color contrast and value contrast makes each piece visually exciting to look at.  Picture each ‘Dream Dance’ as a passage from a larger story.  “The surreal contrast of beauty and the beast provides a playful setting for the celebration of life and the joy that life brings.”