July 24, 2020

Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures

Gary Simmons takes racist cartoons from American pop culture and erases them, in order to re-educate society about these racial stereotypes.
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Galleries

About the Exhibit - Screaming into the Ether

Gary Simmon’s exhibit at Metro Pictures Gallery in Chelsea, New York, is on view from July 7 – September 19, 2020.

Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures

‘Screaming into the Ether’ “expands the artist’s decades-long examination into the propagation of racial stereotypes through American media and its devastating effects on how people of color perceive themselves and are perceived by others” (source

Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures
“The twenty new paintings on view reconsider his signature “erasure” technique and the racist cartoon characters Simmons first appropriated in his renowned chalkboard drawings from the early 1990s.”  (source
Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures

The exhibit focuses on three Looney Tunes characters - Bosko, his girlfriend Honey, and Bosko’s “Little Sister.

Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures
“Introduced to movie theater audiences in 1930, the three characters were degrading caricatures of black Americans based heavily on minstrelsy.”  (source
Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures
Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures
“These caricatures refer to when the black stereotype in media was a slap-happy, carefree, musical entertainer. The erasing attempts make the images ethereal and almost ghost like” (source
Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures

Simmons uses his hands to blur the images on the canvas, representing “the persistence of racial stereotypes and how deeply embedded they are in our memories.”

Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures
Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures
“When you’re young, you kind of bounce from thing to thing and you never totally get done. I was working on some film-based stuff and thought, ‘I don’t think I’m done with these cartoons yet.' They’ve always been attached to me, so I started to sheepishly bring them back, little by little. Now they’re fully back, and it’s like being with an old friend.” - Gary Simmons (source
Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures
Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures

About the Artist - Gary Simmons

Gary Simmons is an American artist from New York City. 

“Using icons and stereotypes of American popular culture, he creates works that address personal and collective experiences of race and class. (source)”
Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures

Simmons received his BFA from SVA (School of Visual Arts) and his MFA from CalArts. 

Simmons is best known for his “Erasures series”. 

You can explore more on his website - https://garysimmonsstudio.com/garysimmons.

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