If We Do Not Destroy Ourselves by Gio Black Peter
Casa de Costa is pleased to present If We Do Not Destroy Ourselves by Gio Black Peter, opening on March 30th in New York. The exhibition features new paintings, drawings and works on paper by the multidisciplinary artist.
If We Do Not Destroy Ourselves catalogs Gio’s most recent collection of intricate, highly-saturated images that reference both the topical and art historical. The exhibition reveals Gio’s private world of personal narratives, cheeky humor and folklore. The exhibition also plays with the landscape and figurative work that is reminiscent of Matisse, Cocteau and Gauguin. There is no better example of this than in "The Other Artist’s Family", a painting that takes its name and composition from Matisse’s “The Artist’s Family” (1911). Gio’s signature style of dense layering and use of pictograms add to the energy of the family scene, and these stylistic elements are a consistent visual thread throughout the show. The works on paper emphasize cleaner lines, but with the same vivid colors, unapologetic humor and visual style.
This body of work, created in late 2015 and early 2016, is heavily influenced by current events and political discourse in the United States, including police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, the rise of Donald Trump, anti-immigrant sentiments, right-wing terrorism and political violence. For example, the painting titled “Bad Cops Make Good Snacks” depicts a post-coital Adam and Eve as a black man and trans woman, looking on as the serpent devours a corrupt policeman. Another painting, “The Velvet Ribbon” depicts a young white man surrounded by faceless black hands, delineating a conservative white America’s fears about their future in a multicultural country.
“Gio is adapting the visual vocabulary of Matisse, Cocteau and Picasso to examine our most pressing contemporary issues, from gender and sex to race and police violence” said Jason Costa, founder of Casa de Costa.
If We Do Not Destroy Ourselves opens on Wednesday, March 30th and runs through Thursday, May 26th. Casa de Costa is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, from 12PM to 6PM. Appointments can be scheduled through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gio Black Peter
Death Faces of Future Lovers