Born and raised in Philadelphia, Joshua Gabriel is a prolific multimedia artist working in Brooklyn, NY. His music and visual art practices are interconnected, with each feeding the other and both utilizing energetic, layered aesthetics woven into complex yet cohesive labyrinths. He has been exhibiting his art and producing music since 1998.
Gabriel’s visual art is based around intricate line work, most of which is produced via freeform drawing. Working with a combination of paint markers, acrylics, spray paint, and, at times, Photoshop, Gabriel creates sprawling, psychedelic canvases, drawings, and prints of maze-like patterns, which merge freestyle forms inspired by nature with figurative elements such as large female faces, animals, and mystical iconography from the ancient world. Ultimately, he is interested in creating visual art that promotes evolution of consciousness. Influences on his art include Keith Haring, Alex Grey, Aubrey Beardsley, Rochelle Marcus Dinkin, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Middle Eastern ornamental art, as well as primitive/tribal art. He has exhibited his work in art galleries, pop-up spaces, and underground art venues in New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. In 2013, he also completed two much photographed, large-scale outdoor murals in the historic Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.
Like his visual art, Gabriel’s musical aesthetics are complex and layered. He creates sonic collages that weave together a variety of influences and genres including rock, hip-hop, and electronic music. Gabriel took piano and guitar lessons as a child and played in punk-influenced bands. After attending Tyler School of Art, where he received a BFA in Graphic Design, he moved to New York. Inspired by DJ/producers like DJ Shadow, Tricky, and DJ Premier, he bought two turntables and set about learning to beat-match and scratch records. He performed his popular DJ sets, which often combined bongo playing into his performance, at a range of venues on the East and West coasts such as Konkrete Jungle, the Tunnel, Northsix (at an Amnesty International Benefit), CBGB’s Downstairs Lounge, as well as Knitting Factory and Gathering of the Tribes Festival in Los Angeles. During this period, he also self-released three DJ hip-hop/drum & bass mixtapes, one of which was a BPM Magazine contest runner-up, as well as a number of albums of original music, two of which charted on CMJ. In 2003, Gabriel moved to the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn and became a key player in the vibrant art and music scene that was centered there, starting a popular weekly party, “The Beatdown” at the Black Betty, with beatboxer/DJ Jase Mason.
In the mid-2000s, Gabriel switched gears and returned to his first love, the guitar. Experiments with freestyling at his live shows led to the writing of lyrics and a new desire to sing. Thus followed several years of gigs and recordings which combined Ziggy/Dylan/Beck-inspired art rock with raw, hip-hop influenced beats. In all, he has released a total of 8 albums of original music. His most recent album, Book of Gemini, is a textured rock/hip-hop assemblage, which explores the two sides of a split musical personality.
Gabriel has received media attention in The Village Voice, NYPress, Frank 151, Vibe Magazine, Street Art NYC, DNAinfo, and A.R.T.S.Y. Magazine. He also appeared, while live painting, on ABC Television’s Good Morning America. He is currently working on a variety of visual art, video, and music projects, including J-Mythos, an alter ego concept. Gabriel is also planning upcoming street art projects.