Chambliss Giobbi’s show at 101 Exhibit, a spacious, hip gallery in Miami’s Design District, is entitled The Seven Deadly Sins, and I am thrilled to see Giobbi take on this time-honored Christian theme of the primary vices. Giobbi has shown small works with TheGreatNude in the past, and I’ve seen some of his larger pieces at the art fairs, but these new, large scaled works on exhibit here during Art Basel Week are something else – if not appropriate for the occasion.
This show is filled with new works that are very powerful, if not provocative. Giobbi’s presentation of the worst of our human traits is a whirling nightmare of human flesh and bad intentions. Giobbi’s models, with their scarred, creased and distressed bodies, carry the burden of meaning far beyond their crude portraiture.
Much like Lucian Freud’s portraits of ungainly, if not physically repulsive models, Giobbi incorporates provocative models in many of his best works, and particularly for this show, in order to represent the Seven Deadly Sins. Chambliss Giobbi’s jig-saw portraits of these human “accidents” are deeply interesting once you get past the rude shock of all that flesh. Some of these works are layered with meaning deeper than the theme of harsh judgement that holds them together.
For as with Dr. Frankenstein’s and his Monster, The Artist is ultimately sympathetic to the poor creatures he is recreating. Just as we too, can become sympathetic to those we condemn when we see ourselves, or at least pieces of ourselves, in the summation of all those broken parts.
Giobbi’s technique employs thousands of small torn pieces of photos that he’s taken of his subjects, all painstakingly fitted together. The entire work is then burnished under a thick layer of polished bee’s wax.
The works feel more like paintings than photographs as one takes them in.
Running into Giobbi’s work this week was one of the highlights of my visit to Miami during Art Basel. 101 exhibit chose a perfect Artist to present to the churning crowds sopping up the art scene down here. And this good luck is what inspires me to keep hunting for The Great Nudes at the Art Fairs.