time trapped within an image

You know that feeling when you suddenly get totally overwhelmingly excited about something in a moment and you literally don't know how to articulate it? That's me right now. I was embarking on my nightly trawl through art tumblrs & lo and freaking behold, I stumble across the work of David Gilbert, an artist and photographer based in LA.
His work wholly sums up my life right now; after a week of minimal sleep / couple of all nighters I am awake in some kind of messy daze - my room's a mess, I look a mess, everything around me is generally just unkempt yet you get to this point & although you know everything's a bit fucked up, it all seems so simultaneously beautiful. The stream of clothes crawling out of the suitcase I'm living from turn into something with perfect composition, as if it were staged. The tumbling piles of books, papers, receipts, letters, zines left unattended for so long (I'm at home home not landan home) are not a nuisance to have to sort but a vivid array of faded pastel coloured corners and jutting edges. The wilting flowers three weeks passed & the desk strewn with jewellery hastily grabbed on my last leave to london are the things I want to photograph. This messy daze is at once something beautiful.

This is exactly why I love Gilbert's work.
While looking through his oeuvre, it is hard to figure out the actual medium of the final pieces; installations? still lives? sculptures? photographs? performance pieces? works in progress? His work exists as a fluid mixture throughout all of these mediums. Ideas concerning permanence permeate Gilbert's works. He uses photography to document moments of the perpetual constructions he assembles out of debris lying about the studio where blankets, papers, eggshells, fabric, plastic, rope as well as equipment such as scissors & objects such as a single shoe, otherwise overlooked and discarded, now become the subject of a vivid almost garish, but beautifully intricate photograph, forever immortalised. There has always been something romantic about entering the atelier of an artist; where the creative processes take place in their rawest forms, always changing and developing & I love how Gilbert plays with the temporality of these moments & his real consciousness of how the most mundane and disposable can become the most beautiful.

"David Gilbert's installations of photography and sculpture are an effort to pin down ephemeral forms, creating a dialogue between image and actuality. Gilbert’s studio practice begins by working with humble materials such as fabric, clothing, paper, cardboard, paint, and yarn. The resulting messy, fragile, and often whimsical assemblages are arranged within the studio environment as still-life compositions or theatrical vignettes. Gilbert often photographs these arrangements with a 4x5 camera under chiaroscuro lighting conditions and presents the resulting images as large-scale prints. Through this re-representation, Gilbert exposes the photographic medium’s transformative potential, elevating and dignifying the scrappy sculptures into the realm of portraiture. With a nod to painters such as Ingres and Vermeer, and photographers Robert Mapplethorpe and Peter Hujar, these “portraits” generate a conceptual fetishization of their subjects. The work operates between abstraction and vérité, where the viewer recognizes the materials from which the sculptures are made, but the resulting forms are ambiguous, ghostly or crude figurations." ~ Klaus Gallery

Gilbert's Tumblr >>

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