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Robert Gober

Artist 111 Robert Gober The absence The mundane

Robert Gober (born 1954) is an American sculptor. His work is often related to domestic and familiar objects such as sinks, doors, and legs

Since the early 1980s, Robert Gober produces paradoxical sculptures that seem to embody qualities of both hand-made and machine-made objects at the same time. His works are often replicas of items found in everyday life. He turns mundane things into pieces of fine art.

Gober both entices and deceives his viewers by giving the impression of familiarity while engaging with surprising complexities of modern-day sexual identity, religion, politics, and art.

Gober's simultaneous recognition and rejection of the readymade's eliciting surprise and provocative thought.

The presence and the absence of the human body is constant in many of Gober's works. From dollhouses to kitchen sinks, his objects often imply use by humans, even when people are not visually present.

Gober inserts the viewers into the spaces created, leaving them empty and waiting to be filled by a real or imagined human presence.

This experience is comfortable and familiar, and yet, it is also disconcerting, especially when the sculptures and installations invoke privacy and intimacy associated with the human body.

As viewers intrude on these intensely and physically close moments, they are aware of their own complicity. This tension between comfort and discomfort is one of Gober's hallmark traits, forcing viewers to experience sensations and ideas in an art environment that carry impact beyond the gallery walls.

Though Gober's sculptures present seemingly mundane and universally experienced objects, many of them hold personal, even autobiographical, meanings.

Gober investigates intimate topics like sexual identity, religion, and social taboos. He finds surprising methods to include the individual in the final products.

The absence is of violence and yet creating tension and unease through empty spaces speaks to the creation of Abject through inflection of thought. It’s a feature often used in horror movies to depict abandoned towns, or spaces.


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