Jeffrey Gibson W Profile

Beauty is a Strategy: Jeffrey Gibson Profiled by W Magazine

In a recent profile by W Magazine, School of the Art Institute of Chicago alum Jeffrey Gibson (BFA 1995) discusses his artistic practice and the importance of beauty in art. Gibson was the first Native American artist chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennial in 2023. He is also presenting a vibrant triptych, Just When You Least Expect It, at Art Basel in Miami this year.

Gibson talks about how he balances creating art that is representative of his Native American identity while also prioritizing form and aesthetics in his work. Gibson found his time working as a research assistant at the Field Museum and learning the techniques of painting and drawing at SAIC and the Royal College of Art in London crucial to developing his voice as an artist. Now Gibson creates multimedia work that bridges the gap between historical representations of Native Americans and Native American culture today, evoking a sense of joy rather than rage.

Gibson said, “The work is not beautiful for beauty’s sake. The beauty is a strategy.”