Jeffrey Gibson’s DAM Exhibition Breaks Open Race, Identity and Masculinity ‘Like A Hammer’

June 25, 2018
Photo: Jeffrey Gibson Denver Art MuseumStephanie Wolf/CPR News
Jeffrey Gibson near some of the pieces from his “Everlast” series of adorned punching bags.

Contemporary artist Jeffrey Gibson has always grappled with his identity. He's Native American -- Cherokee and Choctaw -- and born in Colorado, but spent much of his childhood abroad in Korea and Germany. Gibson spent years as a traditional painter before realizing he could not only fit into the contemporary art scene, but explore his identity as well.

Now, the fruits of Gibson's artistic rediscovery are on display in "Like A Hammer" at the Denver Art Museum now through August 12.

Gibson talked to Colorado Matters about his creative process and how he draws inspiration from traditional Native American artisanal techniques to the works of James Baldwin. The artists describes his works as "futuristic artifacts," made clear by his beaded punching bags and reworked trading post blankets.