The Armory Show
Gibson’s personal lens on American culture stems from his multipartite viewpoint as an artist—as a black male, a professor, an American history buff and comic book aficionado. These myriad and often colliding perspectives fuel his exploration of contemporary culture through languages of painting and the comic book vernacular, revealing a vision of a dystopic America where every viewer is implicated as a potential character within the story.
In this new body of work, Gibson describes the common factor of white supremacy that plays so much in the vision and violence of American society. From the Charlottesville riots to the governing body in the Senate, the paintings describe the flailing death throes of a system, which has marginalized people by race, gender and sexuality for centuries. In Brer Gibson and the Marshmallow Baby, the artist retells the Uncle Remus fable Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby, recasting the Tar Baby as a Klansman effigy, formed from a sticky, marshmallow-like substance. Much like the Remus fable, Brer Gibson is confronted with the symbol of white supremacy and finds himself physically trapped with the object of his ire. This entwined relationship distorts the body and mind of those who enter it, leaving the individual trapped. The artist imbues these works with a dark humor, a necessary salve in troubled times. By employing a direct and unedited drawing method, he is able to riff on the traditions of improvisation, humor, the comic and the grotesque by way of image-making and technique.