Austin Lee & Mark Thomas Gibson Bring an "American Psyche" to Sweden
It's an interesting pairing: two great American aritsts, with completely different styles and approaches and yet kindered spirits, creating two bodies of work entitled American Psyche. Now on view with Carl Kostyál Gallery in Stockholm, Mark Thomas Gibson and Austin Lee, friends who also have been creating works alongside each other and as peers, have built a body of work that offers two different visual identities of an America in crisis, and yet often speak the same language.
Back as the world was on the brink of a massive shift, Radio Juxtapoz sat down with both Gibson and Lee, independantly, and spoke about their process and what we found illuminating was that they both had commonalities in their making. For American Psyche, the two artists used the horse as a motif, one that not only goes back throughout art history but has its symbolism in the American Dream. The gallery notes: "Lee’s horses evoke emotion and mindspace while Gibson uses storytelling to put his horses to work, assigning them roles like actors in a play."
“I think it is important to take two artists living through the same moment where race, class, politics and health (mental/physical) are directly on the table," Gibson says. "The shows that typically ask these questions generally operate in separate hermetically sealed vacuums where race and gender construction is the price of the ticket for entry. Often the entry that ticket provides bolsters predetermined outcomes in the associations of the work presented. Rarely do we have time or are we asked to present work that may work to complicate our pre affirmed understanding of art."