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Jerrell Gibbs | Baltimore, Maryland, 1988


Jerrell Gibbs opposes deceptive perceptions of Black men by questioning master narratives and their connection to a muted visual history. Gibbs’ paintings are acts of resistance, asserting power over visual stereotypes. He paints the Black male figure with adornments, such as flowers, and contextualizes them in moments of peace, rest, and solitude. These gestures function to dismantle the visual misrepresentation of violence, trauma, and pain.
Gibbs is committed to creating paintings that are both authentic and truthful, and he reveals Black men as God-fearing, husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons. His paintings highlight joy, beauty and the mundane, all components within the vastness of Black life. The compositions, which are often taken from his family archive, focus on placement, size, proportion, as much as they do on mark-making and painterly gestures. His assertions of legacy highlight the performative nature of heritage and displaces an audience unaccustomed to more extensive and wide-ranging portrayals of Black life. 
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 Brandywine Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Art, the CC Foundation, and the X Museum Beijing. 


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