Josh Cabello (b. 1997) is an artist born and based in Los Angeles whose work focuses on creating queer sanctuaries. He paints lush, imagined gardens, conjuring a world where anyone who enters can be still, commune with oneself, and be engulfed by nature. Each piece is a portal for a viewer to step into the human interior – a space often uncharted, incomprehensible, and sometimes filled with tumult, but a fragile space that must be navigated with patience and care. Gardens can bloom into a mass of untamed overgrowth, but ultimately, the petals of a flower are easily knocked to the floor if we don’t watch where our hand sways.
Josh’s works draw on a variety of histories. Inspired by Greco-Roman frescoes to Italian Renaissance works to queer art haus films, Josh connects both real and implied queer lineages from antiquity to the present. These works draw on queer traditions of play and excess, mingle with themes of intimacy and delicacy, and work to decenter hypersexuality and masculinity within the modern queer experience. By aesthetically and thematically linking art history and queer theory, Josh ultimately asserts queerness’ endurance and belonging in history, even if it has not always been visible to the naked eye.
Josh received a B.A. in Visual Art from Brown University in 2019. He has exhibited at venues including Lauren Powell Projects, Los Angeles, CA; Art Share LA, Los Angeles, CA; SoLA Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; RISD Museum, Providence, RI; the Cohen Gallery, Providence, RI; and Rare Cafe, Los Angeles, CA. He most recently was selected to curate and exhibit in a group show at Fellows of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, as a 2022 Curator’s Lab Recipient.