By Kristie L. Smith Nikitin, freelance writer and art enthusiast
One of Gebhardt’s personal favorites, Friction, is the picture of a larger than life gaunt character awash in black and blue. His left eye is swollen shut, cheek bruised and the dripping paint from his puffy mouth could signify a busted lip. Yes, this man has met with some adversity along his journey.
Friction can be good — generating heat — to build a fire and create a forward motion, fuel for winning. Or friction can be not so good, like “road rash” or a “blister” — painful irritations that are slow to heal. Friction is what happens when two opposing forces slide against each other. This man seems to have suffered a head-on collision with resistance. In Gebhardt’s own words this work signifies “the dark side of achievement.” It embodies a hard fought conquest, and to get to that triumph this man has suffered pain, discomfort, and has a voracious hunger to achieve. Like a speeding train, momentum can’t be slowed.
Friction is not pretty but an honest portrait of what it takes to not only start a lucrative business but see it through a recession, “run in the Olympics, star on Broadway or achieve any momentous goal.” Friction is the spark — the necessary energy to “go,” to win the gold or take home a Tony Award. There will be discomfort; after all, comfort aids complacency and that is a quick death to any dream. The unsatisfiable craving for success is what drives those who earn a spot on the Fortune 500 List, podium for the gold, and defeat the demons of mediocrity.
Mixed Media 50″ by 80″
On Exhibit SPECTRUM Miami – Nov 30 – Dec 4 – During Art Basel Week 2016
Gebhardt Gallery Booth #618