Merger of the Artistic Flux / Interview with James Gilbert

Luxiders Magazine

From sculpture to performance art, the LA-based artist James Gilbert envisions a fascinatingly unique world through his art. We asked Gilbert about his experiences before and after creation, and his derivation points. 

The Los Angeles-based multifaceted artist James Gilbert might be one of the purest transformative talents in art: What the artist takes as an inspiration to produce an artwork always comes from a merger of ‘everything’. Merging the moments gets more and more fascinating with Gilbert’s touch, as he interprets the materials to use in a way that matches Gilbert’s sensualistic, natural, and meaningful process of creation. On the other hand, what James Gilbert presents is beyond an artistic flux, but a milestone, a witness, and a commenter to the times we have been through and currently experiencing. The artist states “For me, the role of art is only powerful in shaping collective consciousness if we are actively engaged, paying attention and willing to think deeply and then behave accordingly,” when he is asked about his perception of art. Here is a heart-stopping interview with James Gilbert about his art and societal aspects of it.

Read full interview here

I Don’t Know, You Don’t Know, They Don’t Know

Solo exhibition at Erin Cluley Gallery, Dallas, Texas

October 8th – November 12th

Photographs by Kevin Todora

ERIN CLULEY GALLERY, Dallas Texas, is pleased to announce I Don’t Know, You Don’t Know, They Don’t Know – a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist James Gilbert. The exhibition will be on view October 8th through November 12th, 2022, at the gallery’s main location, 150 Manufacturing Street, Suite 210. An opening reception will be held Saturday, October 8th from 5 – 8 PM with the artist in attendance. The gallery is open weekly Wednesday through Saturday, 12 – 5 PM and by appointment.

In his artistic practice, James Gilbert traverses a breadth of media all with an eye for whimsy, sincerity and style. His obsessive repetition of objects—rarely without his signature pink and white coloring—gives scale to the overwhelming accumulation of contemporary social injustices. Nonetheless, his flair for humor betrays a certain optimism, a willingness to play not as a coping mechanism, but as an exercise in possibility. Across his work, Gilbert allows for introspection: as viewers are encouraged to see clearer the blemishes and devastating absurdity that color our shared histories.

For his solo exhibition, I Don’t Know, You Don’t Know, They Don’t Know, James Gilbert explores themes of cultural heritage and genetic lineage—all with cutting wit. His bold figures show the talent of an artist fully confident in his abilities. Incorporating drawing and sculpture, Gilbert’s new work acknowledges the messy nature of community, not helped by the equally messy political and social climate of the past few years.

Gilbert’s use of raw, naturally-flawed materials—wood, wax and metal—conveys an honest uncertainty in what to make of the unfolding future. Half-human, Half-abstract figures continue their creator’s line of questioning; What is the legacy of contradicting ideologies in education and culture? How can we reconcile a dangerously forgetful history? Who knows what are the right questions to ask?

Presented in the gallery will be a selection of sculpture alongside a body of drawings – a dynamic and complex intersection of Gilbert’s practice. An installation of 138 drawings will cover one of the large walls in the gallery reinforcing the artist’s fascination with the stories told by faces and the changing of information over generations.

Gilbert states, “I believe in making work that unveils our human condition and also gestures toward the effort to understand cultural history and memory of being, time and place. For in this moment, I want to remain optimistic as sometimes you find yourself in a strange place and other times in a strange place you find yourself.”

I Don’t Know, You Don’t Know, They Don’t Know will be the artist’s second solo exhibition in Dallas. Gilbert’s first solo exhibition was in 2010 at Dallas Contemporary. His exhibition Warnings and Instructions was the inaugural exhibition in the museum’s Glass Street location.


+ 214 760 1155


New Interview – Meet James Gilbert / Sculptor & Installation Artist
Narrow Passage – Noysky Projects, Los Angeles
October 14 - November 12

It May Be Time to Rethink the Way You Think, 2017, hand-dyed canvas, polyester rope, wood, wax, 88 x 40 x 27inches

It May Be Time to Rethink the Way You Think, 2017, hand-dyed canvas, polyester rope, wood, wax, 88 x 40 x 27inches

The Show that the LA Times, Curate LA, Venison Magazine, and Art and Cake Have Been Talking About

A Narrow Passage, a multidisciplinary exhibition featuring the work of Lana Duong, James Gilbert, Jenalee Harmon, Megan Mueller, Jenny Rask, Nicolas Shake, Katya Usvitsky, and May Wilson, has already been received with great fanfare. Major media outlets like the Los Angeles Times and the international publication, Art Week, have been promoting the show, as well as well-respected regional outlets, like Curate LA, Art and Cake, Venison Magazine, Asymmetric Magazine, and DoLA:


Noysky Projects presents A Narrow Passage, a multidisciplinary exhibition that explores themes of constriction, compression, and concealment as a way to relate to personal biographies.

Abstract works from A Narrow Passage are comprised of materials that twist, turn, bond, choke, or smother to the point of collapse, while others have approached constriction in a more gratifying way, like the comforting sensation of a warm embrace or the euphoric feeling of pleasure derived from pain.

Artists have used the compression of space as a visual device to relate to the body for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians wrapped the body in ornate sheaths that accentuated the unique forms of the individual, while providing familiar biographical landmarks to aid the spirit in its journey to the afterlife. Shibari, a form of Japanese rope bondage developed during the Edo period, was used as a decorative device to display captive prisoners like trophies, creating complex patterns and shapes that pressed into the skin. Twentieth-Century works from Man Ray and Christo & Jeanne-Claude have used concealment as a means to invoke mystery, transformation, and revelation, while Eva Hesse and Jackie Winsor put the body back into abstraction, using hands-on processes and tactile materials that actively rejected the detached qualities of the minimalists.

Many of the works in A Narrow Passage employ elements of playfulness with form while acknowledging the weight and density of the artist’s chosen materials. Some of the works in A Narrow Passage relate to the quirks of the body, straddling the line between fragility and rigidity, using irregular, organic forms. Others have used tension to reveal internal conflict, illuminating our efforts to adapt to our new political realities while also protecting the ideas we cherish most.

Plastic Primitive
June 30 - September 28
James Gilbert & Garth Bowden, Plastic Primitive, Paris, France

An exhibition of new sculptures, drawings and photographs from Los Angeles based artist James Gilbert and Paris based Garth Bowden.

This exhibition is the culmination of an on-going conversation between the two artists and their individual studio practices. For the first time, the artists have proposed a joint residency together in France where all work is created along side each other, in response to each other, specifically for this exhibition.

This dialogue between the two artists marries the language and structures of primitive visual forms with images from contemporary pop culture. Setting in play contradictory elements – objects of symbolic meaning used for ritual and cultural identity versus objects devoid of meaning – the products of consumerist pop society such as plastic toys, games and cartoons.

There is an interest in defining a period of our collective history and cultural understanding. Drawing from the vitality and power of primitive tribal art and the banal objects of pop culture, both artists seek to compress these apparently opposing elements into objects of meaning and humour.

“The conscious search in history for a more deeply expressive, permanent human nature and cultural structure in contrast to the nascent modern realties.” Stanley Diamond, “In Search of the Primitive”

LeStudio, Paris, France

Nakid Magazine – Features James Gilbert as Artist to Watch
June 28

Tweeted, Googled and Inappropriately Touched

Read full article at Nakid Magazine

I think of each pair of underpants as an intimate portrait. They are an examination of the large amount of intimate and private information we willingly share through social media, reality television and 24-hour news cycles – the immense fascination with celebrity and pop culture. Each pair of underpants is sewn from transparent industrial plastic then embellished with beads, zippers or sequins, like layers of experience, personality and behavior. The underpants expose our most intimate information – revealing our perviness, opinions, quirkiness, sense of humor and a narrative of our culture.”

James Gilbert

The Clutch, 2012, 7 x 14 x 2 inches, plastic, threadThe CEO, 2012, 7 x 14 x 2 inches, plastic, threadSpeed Ball, 2012, 6 x 14 x 2 inches, plastic, threadBig Boy, 2012, 7 x 14 x 2 inches, plastic, threadThe Biter, 2012, 6 x 14 x 2 inches, plastic, threadF_LeRoy_james gilbert

A Historic Point of Interest and other Landmarks
January 26 - March 5


A solo exhibition features a large site-specific work that consumes the gallery with a selection of smaller works that address destruction of architecture, intentional actions that destroy architecturally important and significant cultural heritage sites. The labor-intensive process of hand sewing and hand-dyeing hundreds of visually dense canvas objects that weigh upon or support fragile wood structures that remind us of relief carvings, elaborately designed doors, buttresses, architectural joints and bridges.

Natural disasters and accidents are inevitable but it is human aggression where we experience the loss of art, architecture and historical sites that are neither designed nor intends to be destroyed. To deliberately eradicate identity is to eradicate art and objects of symbolic meaning. We have witnessed systematic destruction of heritage as an attempt to destroy cultural diversity through religious or ideological reasoning, political agenda, activism or cultural curation. I wanted to reimagine an object that is simultaneously a symbol and protectant. When building barricades for fortification in front of and around culturally significant objects and architecture they then become the new identity and description for the object they are protecting. Through the use of common art making materials: paint, canvas, marble and wood, they are reinterpreted as devices to defend, deter or lessen destruction but also form a new autonomous work to be visited, viewed and contemplated.

PYO Gallery
1100 South Hope Street #105
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Art of War and Peace
ART TALK - KCRW, Edward Goldman discusses Sledgehammer.Bullet.Bomb. exhibition

Art of War and Peace mp3

Listen/View Episode on KCRW

Los Angeles’ art scene continues to burst with high profile museum and gallery exhibitions. But today, I want to share with you a few intriguing and delightful discoveries I made somewhat off the beaten path.

At Manhattan Beach Art Center, which is only a half hour drive from LA, there is an exhibition with a name that stops you in your tracks: Sledgehammer. Bullet. Bomb. With what’s happening right now in the world, this exhibition by LA-based artist, James Gilbert, makes a particularly strong statement about “human aggression” [leading to] the loss of art, architecture, and historical sites.”

Gilbert creates sculptural artworks that manifest tension between elaborate, precarious wooden structures and what looks like a multitude of sandbags. Some of the structures seem ready to collapse under the weight of the bags. Others lean against each other in a game of push and pull.

Two specially commissioned artworks communicate a sense of destruction and protection. With a sledgehammer, the artist broke through the walls, left the debris on the floor, and then packed the hole with dozens of stuffed canvas bags. For me, all of the above evoke memories of attempts to protect major cultural sites around the world not only in the past, but in current military and political upheavals as well.

at151124Gilbert1-EG       at151124Gilbert2-EG       at151124Gilbert3-EG
photographs by Edward Goldman

San Diego Art Institute – Women’s Work
October 2 - November 15

Women's work SDAI proof

“Women’s Work” is an international exhibition that calls for a re-examination of traditional gender stereotypes. The show includes powerful images evoking and informing psychological experiences of both the artists and viewers. The artists included in this program employ a variety of techniques regarded as traditional and domestic, such as embroidery and crochet, using craft materials to address cultural and gender issues in a complex intersection of artistic practices, popular culture, and aesthetic splendor. A curatorial grant from NYC-based ISE Cultural Foundation was awarded to produce this exhibition

San Diego Art Institute
1439 El Prado – Balboa Park
San Diego, CA 92101

Tel (619) 236 0011

In Studio thoughts with James Gilbert
Los Angeles

Wrestle James Gilbert at Dallas Contemporary
November 8 & 9

The performance will present an unique opportunity for museum participants to physically engage with the artist in a museum setting, while igniting a conversation about the cultural dynamic between arts and sports.

Each challenge will be on a certified wrestling mat with a referee present. Participants must be +21 years old and weigh approximately 100-175 pounds. Male and female. No previous wrestling experience required. No shoes on the wrestling mat.