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GAIA in Progress at The Rice University Gallery in Houston

GAIA in Progress at The Rice University Gallery in Houston

Street Artist Gaia Talks About New Installation and Latest Study

For the opening this Thursday Gaia will be talking about the impressions he has gathered and internalized of Houston’s urban sprawl and of some of the folks on the front lines of the everyday; using painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage. Much like his commissioned installation at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) in 2012-13, where he created portraits of individuals in the community of Baltimore using techniques inspired by Gauguin’s Vahine no te vi (Woman of the Mango), this new installation will open Rice University Art Gallery’s fall season with faces, textual excerpts, and city/landscape sweeps of the city he is studying.

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GAIA. Installation in progress. Rice University Gallery. Houston, TX. (photo © Nash Baker)

“Essentially I am creating this mural as a pastiche of Houston and then interviewing faculty, staff and students at Rice University to get a sense of the institution’s place in the greater city,” says Gaia of his study of the city and its international populations. At the moment he is taking a break sitting atop a mountain of styrofoam that will be soon be cut, shaped, and sculpted for the installation – a constructed cloister within the gallery space. “I want it to mirror the campus’ architecturally byzantine quotation,” he explains of the temporary structure.

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GAIA. Installation in progress. Rice University Gallery. Houston, TX. (photo © Nash Baker)

Since BSA was a very early profiler of the work of this artist, our readers are quite familiar with Gaia’s work on the street and his interest in depicting important figures who influenced the direction he grew personally – remember the large head of his grandfather floating on Brooklyn walls in the late 2000s?

Eventually his examination and studies of important figures expanded to profiling politicians, developers, leaders, architects, city planners, spiritual figures, citizens, workers – all identified as pivotal parts of the DNA that give a city or a neighborhood its true sense of place. With these new oil paintings of participants in his latest anthropological exploration, visitors will be seeing a marbled moment in the storied history of Houston as a city and a society.

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GAIA. Installation in progress. Rice University Gallery. Houston, TX. (photo © Nash Baker)

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GAIA. Installation in progress. Rice University Gallery. Houston, TX. (photo © Nash Baker)

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GAIA. Installation in progress. Rice University Gallery. Houston, TX. (photo © Nash Baker)

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GAIA. Installation in progress. Rice University Gallery. Houston, TX. (photo © Nash Baker)

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GAIA. Installation in progress. Rice University Gallery. Houston, TX. (photo © Gaia)

 

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