New Art! Giberson’s Classic Airstream April 26 2016
Airstreams are undeniably all-American, and not just because they’ve been manufactured in the US of A since the 1930s. Within its aluminum walls, the Airstream holds a sense of history, and a whole lot of hopes and dreams. The uncomplicated, color-blocked background against which Leah Giberson set Trailer Flash turns a close eye on this bullet-shaped beauty. There’s an entire world contained in its sheen of aluminum aerodynamics. Giberson parks it here for us to admire—and we do.
Giberson has been fascinated by mid-century suburban dwellings for quite some time; her series of trailer paintings sprang from the interest. Her ability to render reflections in metal has been described by our own Lisa Congdon as “insanely good”, and we agree. The mesmerizing level of detail is what initially drew us to Trailer Flash—it’s hard to believe someone painted this! What keeps us coming back are the curious incongruities she’s coaxed into focus.
As she painted more and more trailers, Giberson uncovered some interesting contradictions. Airstreams symbolized innovative modern technology at their advent, with a streamlined silhouette and more than a few complex design inclusions. Shiny and sleek as a rocket, trailers like the one in Trailer Flash look like they might be bound for the moon. And yet they often end up parked in crowded campgrounds or languishing in driveways and backyards. They represent freedom and adventure, the optimistic outlook that the next resting spot will bring new and better things, but they become the security of home on a set of wheels, more often inert than in motion. “There’s something about the struggles, the impracticality...and the unachieved dreams that tugs at me,” Giberson told us.
Trailer Flash has tugged at us, too—for its minimalism and layers of complexity, for the life Giberson alludes to in its shiny outer shell, and for its playful, nonpartisan portrayal of both optimism and realism. This edition deserves to be beheld with abandon. We can’t wait for you to park it on your wall.
With art for everyone,