Jerrell Gibbs’ (b. 1988; born and based in Baltimore, MD) brings movement and life into the setting of his paintings with vibrant, almost alive, backgrounds. His paintings are distinctive for their loose playful lines, an illustrative style emulating the beauty in daily mundane life experiences. The subjects are static, however, his unmistakable expression affirms the multilayered experience of African-Americans by accentuating Black identity through an empathetic and authentic lens.
Gibbs pays homage to Matisse who similarly believed expression and decoration are one in the same. The arrangement focuses equally on placement, size and proportion, as on painterly gesture. His claim of legacy and the way it performs and displaces an audience unaccustomed to more extensive and wide-ranging portrayals of Black life is powerful.
Gibbs graduated with an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD in 2020. He has exhibited at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, The Galleries at CCBC and The Gallery at Howard University. His work appears in the permanent collection in the Harbor Bank of Maryland and most recently The Columbus Museum of Art.