Purple Magazine
— F/W 2012 issue 18

Leo Gabin

Studio view (sculptures), Ghent, 2011

art collective

text by JEFF RIAN

All photos courtesy of Peres Projects, Berlin


For about 10 years the artists’ collective Leo Gabin has mined user-generated media, which is so readily available on the Internet, and divined from that a succinct variety of Internet-generation paintings, sculptures, and video clips. The paintings incorporate silk-screen images with the swirly smears of what looks like print colors being wiped off glass. But they’re all highly controlled in a style that recalls Willem de Kooning’s gestures, Robert Rauschenberg’s reprocessing of images, and Richard Prince’s wry look at particular aspects of the world we now know and seek to come to terms with.

Got Bandz, 2012, lacquer, spray paint, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas

The sculptures are composed from shards of paintings, along with the acetate film used to make screen prints. The videos are assembled from what could be YouTube or Facebook videos that people self-publish — girls cleaning horrendously messy rooms, girls striding booty to music in front of couches, girls passed out drunk, guys communicating the language of hip-hop, but to Bach instead of Dr. Dre, etc.

Their art underscores the zeitgeist — the spirit of an age dominated by speed and intensity, by images and evanescence, by eroticism and escapism, and perhaps by a present tenuously geared toward a future. Their works imply the statement, Look at us! In 1897 Gauguin scribed in the upper corner of a painting of Tahitian girls the questions Where Do We Come From What Are We Where Are We Going — but without question marks. Leo Gabin doesn’t escape society; they portray a vision of a society in the making. One might read into the works, especially the videos, questions people don’t quite ask themselves: Why are we like this? How far should we go? Where is our future? The paintings, sculptures, and videos express, within them, in their material souls, the very essence of such questions, which might be why they are so compelling.

Okay With Me, 2012, acrylic, spray and silkscreen on board

[Table of contents]

F/W 2012 issue 18

Table of contents

purple EDITO

purple NEWS






purple BEAUTY

purple TRAVEL

purple LOVE

purple NAKED

purple PHILO

purple NIGHT

purple WINTER


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