There’s a brilliant duality in the large pop art paintings of GG, also known as Gabriel Gimenez. On the surface, he might seem obsessed with bright, solid colors and cartoon imagery featuring a squiggly-mouthed character with black asymmetrical circles for eyes, whom he calls Fado. But notice the margins and you’ll see quickly brushed-on words such as muerte (death in Spanish). “I see myself as a very positive person,” Gimenez explains. “All these bright colors, that’s what they resemble, and they may not be very happy pieces. They may have some dark meanings, but the colors help you enjoy it.”
One of GG’s new pieces depicts Fado dressed in the unmistakable garb of Waldo, of the Where’s Waldo? books, practically filling the canvas. But the cute factor ends there -— he holds a smoking gun in his left hand. A cartoon bubble over Fado’s head declares, “I found Waldo!” GG says the image came to him from hearing childhood friends’ reports of violence in his native country of Venezuela. But the work can just as easily be a commentary on the uptick of recent mass shootings in American culture.
This piece will be among the 25 or so artworks featured in an upcoming solo show and auction at LMNT Arts Miami (59 NW 36th St., Miami). The new gallery space in Wynwood will host GG’s first large-scale no-reserve auction and exhibit. Hosted by the owners of the NAC Gallery in Fort Lauderdale, the show is a bold move for such a young artist only a few years out of the Art Institute. “I really believe the work is that good that the public is setting the price on it,” says Vincent Harrison, director of the NAC Gallery. “It’s a gamble, but if your work is good, you’ll get a good price.” The exhibition begins Saturday with a reception at 7 p.m. and an art auction at 8:30.
Sat., Sept. 1, 7 p.m., 2012