Joseph OLeary was born and raised in a small, blue-collar town in Wisconsin. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He currently lives and works on his farm outside of Minneapolis. He started his series on bearded men with an unfavorable bias towards men with beards. Facial hair, in pop culture, tend to be viewed as something to hide behind. Joseph’s work clearly shows the extent to which facial hair is not only an extension of a man’s outfit, but their identity as well. He admits that after doing the project, his opinion of men with beards took a 180-degree turn. He found all of them to be “incredibly open, honest, and real”. He said: “It’s a brotherhood. Guys with beards are amazingly comfortable complimenting another man on how his beard looks. I love that.”
Check out his website.