Joel D. Sager (born July 17th, 1980) is an American painter and native Missourian with a body of work that has been described by critics as “moody” and “smart.” Fascinated with the Midwest, Sager presents (most often by means of still-lifes, and portraiture) a dark perspective of such imagery, juxtaposing the seemingly mundane and lifeless with subtle allegory and vitality. Sager’s work serves as a redemptive and simultaneously disquieting examination of the sometimes deep effectiveness and other times absurdity of existence. Aesthetically, the work reflects the modest aspects of the artist’s subject matter with simplistic composition and stylization of form. With the deconstructive paint process Sager employs, however, his work is metaphoric of the physical deterioration of the literal subject matter. This process involves an underpainting of naïve color and collage (typically wallpaper, construction paper, material, or newspaper), a subsequent wash with roofing tar, and a scraping on and off of oil pigment with palette knife. Sager’s paintings have had the honor of being shown nationally and internationally from Hollywood, California to Yokohama, Japan, including the Missouri 50 Exhibition for the state's most outstanding artists. His work was featured on NPR's broadcast of Michael Feldman's What Do You Know? and have been seen in the New York Journal of Style and Medicine, True/ False Film Festival, Jjjjound, and the publications of Persea Books, New York. His original paintings can be found in private and corporate collections nationally. Sager is permanently represented at Perlow-Stevens Gallery in Columbia, Missouri, U.S. where the artist currently resides with his family.