Thursday, April 25, 2019

Jeff Gibson at LMAKgallery

Jeff Gibson´s solo installation Hard Sell is located in LMAKgallery´s outdoor courtyard, comprised of five white sandwich board signs covered in images of various products. Each board holds a different variation of a color scheme, such as beiges, greens, or reds and blacks. Additionally, the images chosen for each board also follow a pattern in form and shape. The visual categorization of each board delivers an organization of color or shape that tricks the viewer into accepting the absurd image groupings. At first glance, pairing fried chicken with hair pieces and microphones with raw beef seems totally natural.

Each of Gibson´s signs could easily pass on a busy and plastered New York sidewalk without gathering many second glances. Even just walking a few steps outside of the gallery, I noticed an aesthetically similar promotional sign in front of the deli next door. Perhaps this isn´t even so specific to New York, but instead is one of the linking factors to cities around the world. Gibson´s bio states that he grew up in major urban centers in the United States, Germany, and Korea, and received his MA at The Royal College in London before moving to New York. This knowledge might lead one to connect that a baseline common denominator between cities across the globe, despite their seemingly disparate cultures, is the imagery used in street advertisements outside of local markets and corner stores.

Gibson´s work appropriates the mundane yet vibrant commercial imagery of products and assembles them in a way that essentially defeats their meaning beyond that of their value as an image. The groupings that he creates in his work lead viewers to consider both the power of imagery as well as their everyday-ness, as we are constantly inundated with images, like visual white noise in the background of our daily lives.


  1. I really like your breakdown of Gibson’s exhibition. I was left somewhat confused, albeit delighted, viewing the exhibition and from your lens I see it much more clearly. The idea that he defeats the meaning of the image through juxtaposition and context is very interesting - as opposed to trying to figure out the line between the lobster and the Ferrari (or whatever it may be).

    After reading your review it made me think of his title Hard Sell and I appreciate that he seems to be nodding to how extreme and ridiculous it is to try and pass these images off as a cohesive idea.

  2. I appreciate your effort relating Gibson's exhibition back to his background, his history and his life. With your explanation, things that looks unrelated become elements that can not be eliminated. I think how a show was displayed and the enverinment it's in is always very important. I like that you spend fair amount of words to incorporate the location as well, and it really make sense statically for this exhibition. However, I wish there's a statement sentence that combines your arguments together. This is overall a very good review in many different aspects.