Gabe Rozzell

June 23, 2022

Gabe Rozzell is a painter who lives and works in New York, NY. Rozzell typically works with airbrush and has begun a practice of creating one-off, reworked wearables. His work has been featured most recently in his debut solo exhibition at LAAMS in New York.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

My name is Gabriel Rozzell, I am a 21 year old painter from Portland, Oregon, and have been living in New York City the last 11 months.
How did you first become interested in releasing clothes?

When I started airbrushing I was painting on random tee shirts I had, I had seen people doing it and saw how easily the ink laid on clothing. Then I started developing my ideas and putting more thought into the composition and subject matter of the clothing itself.

Can you talk a bit about your recent show at LAAMS in New York?

I’ve been hanging out around LAAMS since I moved here and got involved in working with them about a month in. They’ve been super supportive and welcoming, last month they offered me my first solo show. They let me organize the paintings however I wanted and allowed for me to go buy a sex doll to paint and hang in the front window as a display.

How do you select the logos that appear in your paintings, and what is their significance?

I think It’s funny adding a commercial brand logo to a painting. I usually choose based on colors, shapes or nostalgic value.

What does your work space look like?

As of a couple weeks ago I moved into an apartment and paint on the wall of my bedroom, but before I was living at my girlfriend’s and painting in the corner of her living room.

What made you want to begin making animations like the Boxer piece that was included in your recent exhibition?

I’ve always loved animations and claymation like Wallace and Gromit. I wanted to try to convert my paintings into a moving sequence. My first one was based off of a Kimbo Slice backyard fight and from there I’ve just been trying to recreate videos I find funny or interesting.

How would you describe your typical approach to collaborations?

It definitely depends. I am always a lot more inclined to work with friends who I can develop ideas with, or brands that I look up to.

Can you talk about your connection to religious iconography and the depictions of Christ in your work?

I grew up in a very religious family, and was taught about it my whole time growing up. I went to Catholic schools and loved the blend of everyday objects and scenarios mixed with the reverence of religious ideology. I think there’s a taboo in religion of mixing it with lighter subjects and I definitely experienced it growing up, I have loved merging the two in my work.

Favorite studio snack?

Coffee and adderall generally.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you can share?

I have a couple pieces at the Van Der Plas gallery in New York on the 24th of June to the 3rd of July. Some clothing coming out soon as well!

Interview conducted and edited by Sam Dybeck.