Go Bears!

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

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