Native American crafts meet pop culture and activism: Jeffrey Gibson’s new Culver City show

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Jeffrey Gibson, “It Can Be Said of Them,” Installation View. Image courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer.

At Roberts Projects in Culver City, a solo show by Jeffrey Gibson infuses Native American crafts with pop culture, music, and activism. Imagine a textured celebration, combining graffiti and eye-popping colors with a touch of traditional aesthetics. 

“Gibson is part Choctaw and part Cherokee, and his work calls upon those craft traditions,” says Lindsay Preston Zappas, founder & editor-in-chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles. “So thinking about Iroquois beadwork, for instance, and infusing those traditions with a contemporary, pop sensibility.”

His work explores gender identity and LGBTQIA visibility. The title work, “It Can Be Said of Them,” is lifted from a Sister Corita Kent print that celebrates four male leaders — Jesus, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy — who influenced the 1960s civil rights movement.

“The text in that poster starts with ‘It can be said of him,’ and then goes on to describe these men. Here, Jeffrey Gibson is upending that, in a way, by saying ‘It can be said of them,’ replacing that male pronoun with ‘them’ to use a more gender inclusive pronoun,” says Preston Zappas.

The exhibition runs through February 20 by appointment only.

Pasted Image Jeffrey Gibson, “humma hicha lvkna,” 2020. Glass beads, brass bells, artificial sinew, acrylic felt, brass sequins, nylon thread, acrylic polyfill, steel base, wood block, 70.5 x 23 x 13.25 inches with pedestal. Image courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California.
Jeffrey Gibson, “You’ll Be Given Love,” Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, LosAngeles, California. Photo by Max Yawney.

Art Insider: Native American and pop references commingle in beaded tapestries