It has always been commented that as a gentle and calm person, Jose Joya displayed an astonishing amount of energy in his works. The artist has also been long recognised as one of the leading abstract painter of the Philippines in the 60s.
It was commented that "As a painter, his language is raw power translated by brush, palette knife and paint on massive zones of canvas and marine plywood. There were sixty-nine paintings in the 1960 show, half of them in large scale which lunged at the viewer from the gallery walls with full emotional impact. Wherever he turned, his eyes encountered myriad, unexpected forms that clashed in tense and explosive territories where bold brash colours interlocked in tangled, splashed, blotched, swooshed, thrown, textured and squeezed-out skeins of paint." (Manuel D. Duldulao, Contemporary Philippine Art: From the Fifties to the Seventies, Vera-Reyes, Inc., Manila, 1972, p.60).
The observation was confirmed by the artist's own words "When an idea evolves, particularly an intense idea, I try to record the idea before it flees. The pictures are done spontaneously - the creative impulse of the moment is strapped to the canvas before it changes its nature." (Ibid).
The artist's own advice to understand his works "It's useless to try to make out familiar objects in my paintings" (Ibid, p. 61).