Studio Visit: Joshua Tremain

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Beatnik’s Summer Show “Desert Songs” will open June 7th 6-9pm and features the art of 3 artists: Joshua Tremain, Felicia Gabaldon and Erica Avila.

Tremain’s paintings for “Desert Songs” demonstrate that there are more than just muted tones in the desert, but bright, vivid color.

Tremain’s Interest in art began when he was around 15. He grew up in the suburbs in a place that was pretty devoid of culture, and he and a small group of friends were interested in hip hop, and graffiti. As a teenager the degeneracy of graffiti was appealing to Tremain, and Graffiti became a doorway to self-expression and connection with other artists.

The qualities of graffiti are something that Tremain has consistently drawn upon as an artist. The geometric shapes and colors he uses in his compositions are a distillation of the basic forms he is most attracted to in graffiti lettering.

Screen Shot 2019-05-18 at 8.24.21 PMIn the same way that Tremain deconstructs the shapes and colors of graffiti, he simplifies landscapes to their graphic and colorful essence.

Tremain builds and fills in layers of paint always starting from the lower right corner of the canvas and states that using spray paint lends itself really well to people with little patience. With spray paint the results are quick, and Tremain can keep moving and adding to his canvases without having to wait.

Tremain was conscious to include landscapes that are not just inspired by the American desert, but the sand dunes of Namibia. In his landscapes there is a sharp contrast between crisp lines and wispy clouds. This contrast is evocative of the shifting  landscape of the desert. For Tremain, making art is a way for him to retain balance in his life, and the interlocking shapes he uses are a reflection of this.


Joshua Tremain and Felicia Gabaldon have contributed to a playlist titled “Desert Songs” that goes along with the show. It is a collection of songs that call to mind varied landscape and wide open sky of the desert.

Spotify Playlist:

Photos: Wes Davis

Writing: Helena Zittel


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