Josh Rowell (b. 1990, UK) focuses his practice on the technological advances that shape our contemporary lives. Rowell's work is designed to exist on the boundary between the real and the virtual; taking inspiration from the digital the artist then reworks these ideas by hand, using traditional techniques such as painting and mosaic sculpting. In doing so, Rowell is attempting to reverse the trend in which more and more of our daily lives are becoming enveloped by the digital world. A playful merging of the ancient world with the ultra-modern is evident throughout Rowell's practice in which classical texts are reinvented as complex coding systems, broken glitching screens are meticulously painted on a monumental scale, and internet memes are solidified as mosaic artefacts.
Born in 1990 in Kent, England, Rowell graduated from Kingston Art School in 2013, where he received a first class BFA with honours. Following a course in Art Criticism at Central Saint Martin’s college, Rowell returned to Kingston Art School for an MFA in 2015, where he was awarded a first-class distinction. His works have been exhibited in London, New York, Miami, Seattle, Basel, Hong Kong, Mexico, Italy and the UAE, and his works are part of public collections including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Gregorian Foundation in Washington, London Kingston University's contemporary art collection, and the Matilda collection in San Miguel De Allende as well as numerous high profile corporate collections around the world. In 2017/18 he had his first museum exhibition at the Palacio Nacional de Guatemala. Rowell won the Public Choice award at the VIA Arts Prize 2017,and was included in Future Now, the yearly publication by Aesthetica listing the 100 most interesting emerging artists from that year. In 2019 he was selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London and later in the year was invited to participate in the 9th edition of the Dentons Art Prize for which he was announced as joint winner in 2020. Later in 2020 he was selected for the group exhibition "False Memory' at Rugby Art Museum, UK, curated by renowned British artist Lindsay Seers. In 2021, Rowell was included in the ground-breaking exhibition NFT I IRL, at Firetti Contemporary, Dubai. It was the first exhibition of its type to show physical works each accompanied by an NFT counterpart. In 2022, Josh Rowell had a sell-out solo booth at the prestigious British Art fair followed by inclusion in the group show DELTA/GAMMA, both held at the iconic Saatchi Gallery. In 2023 Josh Rowell has had two major solo exhibitions in Italy and Dubai respectively, with his success in Italy being featured on the front cover of La Lettura, the culture magazine in Italy’s largest newspaper, Corriere della Sera. In early 2024 Rowell will unveil his largest work to date, a 9-metre-wide triptychlocated in a luxury new development in South Kensington. Taking inspiration from William Blake’s illustrations, the paintings re-tell the story of Dante’s famed journey in the Divine Comedy, this time however reimagined through the artist’s Painting Language series.
Rowell has works in private collections as well, in the UK, USA, Canada, China, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Monte Carlo, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, India, Australia, Ireland, Russia, Kuwait, Bermuda, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Guatemala and Peru.