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Joshua Gabriel
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Ditmas Park



ARTIST STATEMENT: I create visual/auditory experiences using line, color, music and persona to conjure a mythic, imagined reality. The work is project-based and can take the form of immersive environments, murals, paintings, albums, videos. Obsessive, improvised line drawings act as a jumping-off point, covering walls and personal sacred objects, projected into rooms and onto ready-mades. Abstract shapes inspired by the forms and patterns of nature morph with figurative elements: human faces, animals, ancient statues. Saturated and metallic colors play a starring role. Influences from different epochs inform the aesthetic. Psychedelia is employed, but in a mutated, updated fashion. Mythologized versions of my own ego are alluded to and sometimes make appearances in the work. Personae are created and then tossed aside. The work alchemizes visual art and music to manifest a mental space for viewers to peek into, be entertained by, identify with. For years I have maintained a prolific and nonsensical career in the New York underground: exhibiting drawing-consumed canvases while simultaneously performing and recording a bizarre range of music. Mom was a Philadelphia painter. I started out as a graphic designer, moved to the big city, and subsequently dived into a seething, vibrant, underground art/club/music/dance scene. Politics informed the work for certain phases, but later, a craving for the spiritual, the cosmic, led to a new path. Recent years have yielded some large street murals, connecting themes of interconnectedness, history, and cosmic consciousness to a broad public audience. As we move forward into the unknown, the work will continue to spill out in unforeseen directions, always seeking to remind its audience that underneath the horrors of contemporary society, life is still beautifully mysterious, unfathomable, miraculous.
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joshuagabriel updates the aesthetic of psychedelia to create a kind of hybrid space in which a mythologized version of his own ego, constructed of variable disposable personae, is at the center. Drawing on his experiences as a painter and musical performer in New York’s underground scene, his work leans towards spectacle, painting on sacred objects and readymades, projecting onto walls, and combining the abstract and figurative in a riot of color.


 








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