When I first found out about this show I decided to do some research. I was told that Eric Gibbons had some good paintings and has been active around town. So I ended up finding some interesting looking landscapes. I thought they looked like Nina Rizzo’s work, except that Mr. Gibbons likes to include text. After navigating Ms. Rizzo’s paintings, I felt confident I would be able to dissect Mr. Gibbons with no problem. These are not the paintings you’re looking for. He totally Jedi mind-tricked me!
If Eric Gibbons were to lose like 75 lbs. and change his last name to Foreman, you would have a hit tv show. All the paintings had a Star Wars reference. The good Star Wars. Not the Jar-jar Trilogy. Even his self-portraits looked intergalactic. I actually thought one was of Uncle Owen and the other of Pig-nose.
The rest of the paintings consisted of either Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Han Solo, or Luke Skywalker and one of Obi-Wan. In the main room there was a large painting of the scene in A New Hope where Vader is demanding Leia give back the stolen plans. Instead of defiantly rejecting him, Mr. Gibbons has painted Leia in tears as if her father were scolding her for dating the scoundrel Han Solo. I could just here the princess wailing, “But I love him!” There was some surprising little quirk like that in each of the paintings. I think that’s how I related them to Ms. Rizzo. One second it looks okay, then the next its all out of whack. For instance, in “Dutch”, Princess Leia smiles and reveals braces or in “Billy Dreamer”, Luke’s nose is facing the opposite way of his head. It seemed out of place, but also appeared properly set. Tears, melting faces and differing hairdos created different perspectival planes. It also made me think of Mannerist or Cubist works.
It was mentioned to me that landscape elements permeated the works. I saw some signifiers, a little hill here, some grass there, but what I picked up on was the use of the mythology as a structure for a self-portrait narrative. In “I Wish I Worked Somewhere Else,” Luke is staring off into the distance while his responsibilities are abstractly featured behind him. What I understood of the image was of that moment when you realize that what you’re doing is not fulfilling and your mind has decided to follow your heart and chase that nutty dream of becoming an “artist”. Going back and looking at the large Leia/Vader painting, you might see the “artist’s” feeble attempts at explaining her career choice to her parents.
I think I jotted down my main points, but this doesn’t feel complete yet. I’m gonna have to take a third look. I was able to get something from the works, but it is very difficult to see past the iconic characters from Star Wars. For now, this show is NOT BAD. I will break down that Star Wars imagery and get to the meat or else I will destroy them by painting prequels and inserting new goofy figures.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.