writing

Jeffrey Gibson at Oklahoma Contemporary

Recently I moved to Oklahoma City and I am now conveniently right down the street from the current Oklahoma Contemporary gallery, at least for now, until they move to their new location on Broadway. I spent this past Saturday afternoon with the Jeffrey Gibson exhibition and it was nothing short of inspiring.

Gibson is a Colorado native but has worked and exhibited internationally. His work combines his native traditions and cultures with his memories of being a punk kid in the late 80's and early 90's. I loved his titles, his use of bright colors, and his ability to tell stories and share his culture in a way that was playful and inviting. Gibson's material exploration includes ceramics, bead-work, mixed media sculptures, and paintings. This body of work specifically did an excellent job connecting the work; as you walked through the gallery you are greeted by a long line of ceramic heads that the artist describes as masks. They're loaded with layers of glazes and have quirky expressions with titles to match. The heads are then found again atop various, large scale mixed media figures. They were looming over us but they were not scary, they made us feel small as humans. And reminded me of an imaginary life where large future-humanistic creatures roamed the Earth alongside us. Along the walls were beaded tapestries that elegantly combined color combination with technique, and were laden with popular song lyrics and phrases.

Overall, this is a show that I am very grateful I could catch before it closed and moved to the next gallery.

Check out his website here.