John Gibson - Small Zig-Zag and Blue Ball, 1986 Oil on canvas 16h x 12 3/4w in
Although I have painted balls exclusively for over 25 years, I don’t really care that much about them. Of course, I’m attracted to them just like anybody else; I admire their endlessness and mystery. I love the way they can stand in for all sorts of unknowns and even the way a circle or a shape of some kind sits on the surface of a ball and bends into space. But I don’t paint balls because of any of that, or because I think they have some significance or “meaning”. I paint balls because they are the most simple and fundamentally different thing from the flat surface of a painting that I can think of. I like that elegant opposition of forces. Every day I try to wring a “real” ball out of a flat surface and every day I can’t quite do it. In the good paintings there is some residue of that effort and in the best paintings, there is a lot. In many ways then the subject of these paintings-at least for me- is just that residue: a wish for something that cannot be had, a version of a ball overlaid with desire.
Courtesy of John Gibson
Selected public collections
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Museum at the Rhode Island School of Design Ackland Museum Chapel Hill, NC University of Massachusetts, Amherst Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton MA
Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA