Exploring Origins: The Artistic Journey of Jerrell Gibbs - Capturing Intimate Moments and Celebrating Ordinary Stories

Jerrell Gibbs, a Baltimore-based painter, delves into family memories to explore the origins of his own life, capturing intimate and joyous moments in his art. His figurative portraits affirm the multi-layered experience of the African-American diaspora, inviting viewers into an immersive realm of his childhood. Influenced by his upbringing in Baltimore, Gibbs's work reflects his perspectives on socio-economics, body politics, race, and economic disparities, intertwining them with empathy and spiritual connection. Graduating with an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Gibbs's life-size paintings are adapted from small Polaroids, breathing life into banal representations of black identity. His art has been exhibited at prestigious venues and is held in the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, making him a celebrated artist in the contemporary art scene.

In this installment, we reveal:

  • The artistic process of Jerrell Gibbs as he shares how he transforms family bonds and everyday moments into evocative paintings, using photographs as his creative catalysts.
  • Delve into a thought-provoking discussion with Jerrell Gibbs on the podcast, as he delves into the interplay between innate creativity and societal pressures, shedding light on how artistic expression can thrive beyond conventional expectations.
  • Uncover the transformative power of art with Jerrell Gibbs, who eloquently discusses his mission to amplify the voices of ordinary individuals through his work, urging us to find beauty and significance in the seemingly mundane aspects of life.
  • Join us for an insightful conversation with Jerrell Gibbs, where he unveils his strategies for surmounting the common artistic challenge of completing projects, offering valuable insights into overcoming obstacles and bringing creative visions to fruition.
  • Immerse yourself in the world of art and music as Jerrell Gibbs guides us through his fascinating journey of infusing diverse musical influences into his paintings, offering a fresh lens to approach each canvas and infuse his creations with distinct perspectives.

Jerrell Gibbs, a Baltimore-based artist, discusses his creative process and the inspiration behind his work. He explains how he uses photographs from his family's photo albums as references for his paintings, capturing the essence of everyday life. Gibbs emphasizes the importance of appreciating and celebrating the stories and experiences of ordinary people. He also reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on his work and the need to dig deeper for inspiration during challenging times.

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This program is supported (in part) by a grant from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

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Original music by Daniel Alexis Music with additional music from Chipzard.

Episode illustration by Alley Kid Art.

About "The Truth In This Art"

"The Truth In This Art," hosted by Rob Lee, is a podcast that explores the essence of creativity and its community impact, amplifying artists' voices and their profound stories.

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Creators and Guests

Rob Lee
Rob Lee
The Truth In This Art is an interview series featuring artists, entrepreneurs and tastemakers in & around Baltimore.
Jerrell Gibbs
Jerrell Gibbs
Jerrell Gibbs’ work is often sourced from albums he finds of Black American families in the 70’s-90’s that capture moments of intimacy, leisure and elegance. Gibbs highlights subtle adornments found in these domestic spaces, which represent cultural symbols in an era where Black folks created beauty with whatever means they had. He leans into a method of painting that supports the duality of Black people who may not have resources, and yet are active in creating world-renowned culture and style that are both beautiful and classic. In Gibbs’ work, he asks the viewer to come closer to witness imperfection in brushstroke and color, as well as other artistic choices that seem misaligned. This contrasts to the illusion of a cohesive image that he creates from afar. Gibbs celebrates this dichotomy because it portrays chance as integral to the process of creation, a principle found in the masters of Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Divisionism and the abstract movement. Gibbs graduated with an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD in 2020. His work is in the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, CC Foundation, X Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles Museum of Art. Gibbs is represented by Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.
Exploring Origins: The Artistic Journey of Jerrell Gibbs - Capturing Intimate Moments and Celebrating Ordinary Stories
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