https://youtu.be/V1bFr2SWP1I (Please enjoy while you read).
This week I visited the Amon Carter modern art museum in Fort Worth. Gabriel Dawe, creator of Plexus Number 34, is a local Texas artist. Gabriel specializes in works of art that are made of thread in detailed color variations. These threads are made to form both rainbows and prism formations. Plexus Number 34 is his largest piece, it is composed of 80 miles of thread. (Figure 1)
Gabriel is a homosexual Hispanic male, whom according to him, feels the need to challenge the manly-man image he believes our American culture expect of us as men. The laborous work that goes into installing the many hooks and individual strands, signifies Gabriel trying to overcome this macho stereotypical role that society expects from him as a male.
With over 50 pieces currently installed and on display, he is certainly achieving his goals of showing that men are capable of creating gorgeous textile pieces too!
According to Gabriel, he started ” working with textiles as a way of challenging emotions of gender identity… and macho cultures” (Gabriel Dawe YouTube Interview). You can tell by the size of his displays, Gabriel is challenging the stereotype of art that fits in local museums today. Gabriel’s choice of primarily textiles is based upon the discouragement he received from his grandmother as a young boy. His interest in non-gender conforming roles, like sewing and textiles is what encouraged his development of textile art. His art is a true testament to breaking those gender bound chains that bind our sexes to social norms. (Fig.)
Gabriel’s use of intricate color patterns have so many hidden and proudly displayed meanings associated with them. Plexus No. 34 display a breathtaking rainbow of colors, prominently displaying his LGBT pride flag, and the diversity of his community. Gabriel uses the lines and colors in these pieces to askew the lines that shape his reality, others’ expectations and social norms (Figures 3 & 4).
Green, Martin. “Severed Chain.” Stock Photos, Video Footage & Audio by Dreamstime. Web. https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-severed-chain-image5401147
YouTube. (Nov. 23, 2015) Gabriel Dawe interview for WONDER at the Renwick gallery. [Video File]
YouTube. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. [ Video File]
Bayne, Jen. ”Art She Hearts” 10-3-11.