2019 MacArthur Genius Grant award winner Jeffrey Gibson (b. 1972, USA) blends the aesthetic heritages of Native America, rave culture, and punk rock, breathing new life into the traditions of Modernist Abstraction. In his paintings, sculptures, garments, performances and films, indigenous craftwork and ancient abstract references coalesce to form metaphysical bridges between 20th century art movements like Geometric Abstraction, Neo-Dada and Pop Art, and contemporary fields of inquiry such as Relational Aesthetics, Institutional Critique and Identity Politics.
As in many of Gibson's works, this painting incorporates text into its subject matter, embedded into the composition via Gibson's idiosyncratic, geometric abstract alphabet. Though many times his text relates to cultural works such as songs or poems by other artists, Gibson authored the phrase LET ME BE WHO YOU NEED ME TO BE himself, after pondering the question, "What do people need now." Says Gibson, "I consider myself to be very fortunate and wonder how I can best be of use to others and these words came from those thoughts."