Directed by Kilroy
December 10, 2011
through January 7, 2012
NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2011) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to announce Directed by Kilroy, new works by Baltimore-based artist Sam Gibbons, in what will be his first solo exhibition at the gallery.
“While Gibbons’ work can be construed as over-stimulating, the difference is that it dares us to confront the frenzy, peer into the mess and emerge with something meaningful—something that requires contemplation. By negating narrative and letting the images speak for themselves, Gibbons challenges the viewer to surmise their own interpretation. He wants those who see his work to stop, think and process that which overwhelms.” — Jennifer Papas, Hi-Fructose Magazine
Gibbons paints on panels with custom-cut outer edges that silhouette and exaggerate the shapes contained within. He explores themes of mortality and carnal desire using cartoon characters as a vehicle. Gibbons’ works are bursting with colorful imagery, abstracted forms and elasticized figures—physically contorted and engaged in assorted acts of sex and violence. Subverting notions of moral value attributed to children’s entertainment with scenarios of depravity and debauchery, the artist exposes cartoons as a fitting device for portraying the collective corruption of innocence.
Some of Gibbons’ paintings resemble the Rorschach (or inkblot) test, when his imagery is symmetrical, mirrored on either side of the vertical center. This adds a psychedelic layer as well as an optical illusion of movement—shapes appear to merge, stretch, swell, grow in depth and fold back in on themselves.
With an interest in the darker side of humanity as well as pioneers of cartoon making, Gibbons draws inspiration from disparate sources. Some of the paintings in this exhibition reference the work of early cartoonists Bob Clampett and Tex Avery, as well as the murders of serial killer Charles Manson.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sam Gibbons was born in 1980 in Youngstown, Ohio, and is currently based in Baltimore, Maryland. Gibbons received a BFA in 2002 from Kent State University in Ohio, followed by an MFA in 2005 from Hunter College in New York City. In 2009, his work was added to the public collection of New Britain Museum of American Art, located in New Britain, CT.