Greg Gossel’s “Numb” at 941 Geary

SF Bay Arts dropped in to see the current exhibit, “Numb” – works by Greg Gossel at 941 Geary Gallery in SF.  We were left pretty nonplussed by the exhibit, not really anything we hadn’t seen before and Warhol’s influence was the best part. These are very large scale mixed media with silk screen portraits and images of contemporary icons and advertising. The textures were nice, many layers and professionally executed. However, the lack of message and originality left us wanting more. These are obviously very commercial works and they may sell well, who doesn’t want a nice big portrait of Jimi Hendrix in their living room? Yet is the original photographer more of the artist here?

We checked out the gallery’s website for some info on the show and found these statements:

“Numb is rooted in Gossel’s social commentary on the over-saturation of visuals and information in contemporary culture…” and “mixed-media portraits of 20th century pop culture icons who have fallen victim to their own overblown, all-consuming celebrity…”

Yet isn’t Gossel still part of “falling victim” and “over-blowing” the celebrities once again? These works are re-hashed versions of many images we have all seen a million times, somewhat cold and dry in their attitudes. There were quite a few that seemed to have a obsession with Kate Moss and her advertising portfolio, as large as the original billboards. Many of the more graphic works reminded us of beginning collage classes in high school- full of soft porn, fashion pix and various typefaces. Many student’s notebooks were slathered with mixed media pop culture collages similar to these. If the artist’s intention was to leave us feeling “numb”, then he certainly succeeded. The show is up thru Aug. 6th, 2011.


This entry was posted in Art, Art Exhibit Review, Artist Spotlight, Bay Area Art, Contemporary art, Lowbrow, Music, Photography, San Francisco, SF Bay Arts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Greg Gossel’s “Numb” at 941 Geary

  1. Luke says:

    I have to agree with your criticism on so many levels. I think Andy would be greatly amused at how old and tired his ‘silkscreen aesthetic’ has persevered. It was becoming a cliché even in his time, so it’s almost laughable when individuals think they can put a ‘new’ spin on his ideas. Even with the backing of a rather ironic ‘rationale’ – it’s still all style, no substance. Appropriation and referencing the past might have been ‘original’ in the postmodern 80s, but it’s SO old now …and so is the cult of celebrity. The original photographers are the only real artists at this show.

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