SOUTH TAMPA – Joseph Cabral calls art an act of self-preservation. Cabral, a North Tampa resident who works in the psychiatric care industry, will share his art with the public at his solo art show, “Untitled Landscape.”
Bamboozle Cafe, 516 N. Tampa St., Tampa, will exhibit his abstract designs from Feb. 1 through March 1. The art show opens from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, with complimentary appetizers, wine and tea tasting.
“As to why I do what I do, it is a matter of necessity and therefore a very personal experience that I find helps me remain grounded within an often times mundane and others times stressful existence that I and the rest us reside in,” Cabral said. “Everyone needs a hobby, something that gives us purpose and motivation to remain sane and functional in this world because so many of are forced into situations that don’t provide any real satisfaction outside of a paycheck.”
He said some people turn to religion or philosophies to gain a sense of connection to something higher than themselves.
“For me, my studio is more sacred than any church I had ever entered as a child,” he said. “It is where I meditate, it is where I play. It is sanctuary – it is where I create. I have come to learn that living in the creative is a barrier against so much that goes on around us.”
Originally from the greater Fall River area of Massachusetts, Cabral, 37, has lived in the Village of Tampa gated neighborhood for more than a decade. He learned that if a person wants to find out what they can and can’t do, they have to travel far from the “nest.”
Working in the psychiatric care industry for almost 15 years, Cabral said he has learned a lot about himself and others.
“Not every day is a successful self-help book, but it’s never dull,” he said. “It’s not what I had imagined myself doing all those years ago in college planning gallery exhibits and retrospective shows of future collections to be made. I know for certain, that if I am going to do a job, a ‘nine to fiver,’ as it were, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
He was educated in the Fine Arts program at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and had his first gallery show at the Copley Society Gallery of Boston.
“While still in college, I began putting my work out into the local art world and got some good responses,” he said. “Being the only senior to sell two of his paintings to two directors of two local galleries was quite an ego boost, getting into the Copley Society of Boston, the Cambridge Art Association, selling a few more pieces and even being invited to a one-year representation at a New York city gallery within a year of graduating college was enough to blow that ego into the stratosphere.”
However, Cabral and his youthful ego were shot down when rejection letters starting coming in and some paintings didn’t sell. He no longer felt pleasure in creating art.
“The act of creation, be it art or artisan, is sacred, first and foremost it has to be fun and blissful,” Cabral said.
While he wallowed in self pity over being “the failed painter,” Cabral began writing. He published his collection of poems and short stories in a book titled, “Dead Letters for Living People,” which is available at Amazon.
“And like a mythic tale of rises and falls, once the written material was collected and edited and worked into the physical book that it is today, I found myself thinking of painting again, drawing just for the sake of drawing, taking pleasure in the simple act of mixing paints, and collage the drawings into the paintings just for the sake of making something beautiful,” he said.
Cabral said the paintings and drawings included in his solo art show are from his newer collection with the oldest painting being six years old.
Tim Gibbons of Seminole Heights, the coordinator of the art shows at Bamboozle Café, said Cabral is known for his unique abstract designs.
“Joseph’s art draws one into the inner fabric of line and life, imagination and color,” Gibbons said.