Justin Paik Reese

Artist Statement

"My work is heavily influenced by memories and experiences that are on a teetering edge of what is real and constant and what becomes misconstrued over time. Growing up in a dilapidated town full of architectural genius, and often traveling to South Korea at a young age to visit my mother’s family, I have a beautiful clash of opposites that fill my mind when revisiting my past. I can vividly recall my grandfather’s ginger jar that sat next to his piles of bodybuilder magazines, often wondering why I never questioned that coexistence. There’s something profoundly powerful and lasting when elements of a reality don’t quite make sense. Living through the chaos of the ‘90s and experiencing pop culture through the lens of two different worlds, I try to find ways to embrace that turbulence and integrate those subtleties into what I create. I try to display the same contrast in my work, evoking thought and question, tugging at the viewer to experience something odd. I am in pursuit of what makes something truly memorable, attempting to forge confusion into beauty."


Justin Reese currently lives in Youngstown, Ohio, where he has a family and personal studio. Justin fires his work to cone 10/11 in soda-fired reduction inside of a downdraft kiln that he built back in 2017. Graduating in 2010 with a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design, Justin has since been focusing on refining his forms, always trying to discover efficiency whenever he can. His passions and inspirations involve 90’s pop culture, retro video game collections, old school sports figures, and architecture, all of which are a source of inspiration for him current work.