Joe Seme was born in New Jersey in 1946, but has lived most of his life in North Carolina. He is a 1968 graduate of Florida State University with a degree in English and concentration in American Literature. He served in the Marine Corps and owned a night club near Sugar Mountain in the early 70s. Entirely self-taught, he began painting full time in 1973. After twenty years in the NC mountains, he now lives on a salt marsh in Wilmington.
Seme is well known for his major “trompe l’oeil” (fool the eye) realistic still life paintings which are carefully researched and set up in his studio and may take three or four months to complete. Many of these pieces utilize old books, decoys, guns and other sporting memorabilia from hunting, fishing, baseball, golf and equestrian themes as well as favorite regional antiques, old corkscrews, tin toys weather vanes, carousel animals and other folk art.