James Gilbert is a Los Angeles based visual artist working in installation, video, sound, performance, sculpture or drawing. The work has been exhibited at museums, galleries and universities in The United States, China, South Korea, Colombia and Denmark. He approaches his work as an effort toward better understanding identity, where it comes from, dynamics that influence it, how we use it in reaction to social structures and the relationships that benefit or become strained by it. Past work includes socially challenging themes such as destruction of cultural heritage and identity, identity in social media, disaster, abuse of power, civil liberties, economics, and death. Each idea is presented via installation, video, sound, performance, sculpture or drawing and is often structured as my own visual defense mechanism, perhaps light-hearted and with a sense of humor to aid in my comprehension of complex topics. Whereas the disaster may also be a playground, civil liberties a carnival game or intimate internal structures becoming external architecture. I regard the work as a series of questions to begin larger dialogues.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT – Tweeted, Googled and Inappropriately Touched
“I think of each pair of underpants as an intimate portrait. They are an examination of the large amount of intimate and private information we willingly share through social media, reality television and 24-hour news cycles – the immense fascination with celebrity and pop culture. Each pair of underpants is sewn from transparent industrial plastic then embellished with beads, zippers or sequins, like layers of experience, personality and behavior. The underpants expose our most intimate information – revealing our perviness, opinions, quirkiness, sense of humor and a narrative of our culture.”