Joel Yau – San Rafael, California


In 1996, Joel Yau discovered street painting at the San Rafael Italian Street Painting Festival and has returned to perform this ephemeral art year after year at this event and many others around the world.

Joel’s luxurious street paintings are reproductions of fine art masterpieces by artists such as Alfonse Mucha, Jean August Ingres, John Singer Sargent, Gil Elvgren to name a few of his personal favorites. “I like the captivating faces in these portraits with its often festive and decorative designs”. Expressive eyes and distinctive design features are key qualities he expertly captures when creating these renditions on the asphalt canvas.

Joel has been featured to collaborate with other Madonnari in re-creating a large reproduction of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling masterpiece in San Rafael, CA and another version in Monterrey, Mexico. He has been invited to participate at festivals in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico and coast to coast in the U.S.  His skilled hands, outgoing personality and love of this art-form make Joel a very successful chalk muralist and his work in this arena has won him many accolades and awards.

When not working with chalk, Joel enjoys painting still life or landscapes “en plein air” in oil, pastel or acrylic. More recently, he has turned his attention to clay creating whimsical ceramic sculptures.

Joel Yau is from San Rafael, CA and is a professional illustrator and a seasoned Visual communicator. Check out his work here!


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