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.