James Gobel uses colored felt, glue, and shiny bits to make his art. In his hardworking hands, the children's materials jump to grownup life big, unexpected, sexy life. At "I Get What I Want, and Always Get It Again!," he continues to use gay bears as his main subjects a while back, his stylized lumberjacks and leathermen wandered a mysterious mansion holding lit candles, but here, they sing karaoke. Felt is a lovely, soft means to render skin tones, especially, but also flannel and worn-in leather, while the judicious application of bling and the ribbony, Art Deco look of all facial hair sharpen the portraits' focus. Loud colors are a signature move of Gobel's; he throws canary yellow around like Josef von Sternberg lighting Marlene Dietrich. Only he's not discovering a starlet, he's looking into a subculture not recognized as beautiful by the mainstream, and putting it on a (suitably complicated) pedestal.
June 12-July 17, 2010