Gabriel Lipper is a fine artist based out of Ashland, Oregon, working primarily in oil painting.
He was trained in the Russian academic tradition at the Jacksonville, Oregon-based Bilmes Art School in 1990, and his influences range from French and Italian Renaissance painting to contemporary graphic novels and modern hip-hop.
Lipper’s paintings are skillful and expressive, vibrating with vivid light sources and mood-filled shadows often depicting social gatherings that allude to society’s excesses and a disassociation with the outside world.
Working with live models, he composes group tableaus in contemporary settings: nightclubs, yachts and high-society horse races. His expressive sometimes elongated bodies interact in various states of excess and existential ennui.
“It’s such a decadent world that we personally live in, but in its wake, things are disintegrating at the same time we’re celebrating,” Lipper said.
Through his various bodies of work, Lipper explores the tension between our modern insulated lives and the encroaching forces of natural and man-made disasters in the world.
“It feels like Nero’s Rome a bit,” Lipper said. “It feels like it’s on fire and everybody’s taking selfies.”
Lipper is always exploring new areas of content and form. Currently, he says he is moving away from subject and is putting more focus on the paint medium itself.
“I’m interested in texture and the way we respond to that surface. I’ve been painting in oils for twenty years and this year I’m almost exclusively playing with acrylics, mixed media. Just really digging into what’s possible with paint.”