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Josh Gilbert is currently seeking full-time employment in graphic design. If you like what you see, referrals are most welcome.
Original artwork for sale in numerous sizes at DeviantArt!
This section is devoted to work produced while attending UW-Milwaukee's Peck School of the Arts. During college - while taking comfort in how much the social environment failed to suck in comparison to high school - I drew a great deal of inspiration from popular culture, particularly my favorite movies and literature.
Dollars Trilogy (or Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo)
acrylic/oil on canvas, 15" x 30" eachSpring 2005The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
is one of the greatest films ever made. If you haven't seen it, don't admit it in public. This series is inspired by the westerns of director Sergio Leone, crossbred with the style of Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase
; an explosion of movement caught frame by frame.
Sin City Citizen
acrylic on canvas, 15" x 30"Fall 2005
Inspired by the style of Frank Miller's Sin City
graphic novel series. The assignment was on chiaroscuro (contrast of light and dark), and Miller's film-noir artwork was the first thing to come to mind. This picture was so good, it seems, that someone stole it while it was on display in Mitchell Hall in 2005. Miraculously, a benevolent citizen in possession of the painting returned it to me in 2010.
The Eyes of The Good
acrylic/oil on canvas, 15" x 30"Fall 2005
A continuation of the Leone-meets-Duchamp theory I started with Dollars Trilogy. Mix in a little analytical cubism, and voila. The reference image was an extreme closeup of Clint Eastwood's face from the finale of The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
. Like Sin City Citizen, this was stolen right off the wall at UWM.
Journey of the Sorcerer
acrylic/oil on canvas, 15" x 30"Fall 2005
Final project for Fall 2005 painting course. Inspired by the song Journey of the Sorcerer
by The Eagles (from their 1975 album One of These Nights
), which has also served as the theme song of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
since the debut of the radio series. This painting is equal parts derived from my enduring love of Hitchhiker's Guide and Eagles music.
acrylic/oil on canvas, 18" x 24"
Based on Picasso's The Old Guitarist, as well as the lyrics of Mr. Jones by Counting Crows: "I'm-a paint my picture/Paint myself in blue red black and gray/All of the beautiful colors are very very meaningful/Yeah well you know gray is my favorite color/I felt so symbolic yesterday/If I knew Picasso/I would buy myself a gray guitar and play/Mr. Jones and me..."
One of These Nights
acrylic on canvas, 24" x 30", foam-core panelsFall 2006
Ever since Sin City Citizen was stolen, I'd been wanting to return to the Frank Miller painting style. The image is based on the lyrics of The Eagles' One of These Nights
(again with The Eagles!?): "I've been searching for the daughter of the Devil himself/I've been searching for an angel in white/I've been waiting for a woman who's a little of both/And I can feel her but she's nowhere in sight."
acrylic on canvas, 22" x 38", foam-core panelsFall 2006
The fourth in a series of four started with One of These Nights. An original composition, aside of course from the continuing adaptation of Frank Miller's black-and-white artwork. The inclusion of "The End?" is fitting, as this was the last painting I made for the last painting course I would take at UWM (which I didn't know at the time, hence the question mark...oooooh, mysterious!)
acrylic on canvas, foam-core panels
The complete series. Second from the left: "'Tis But A Scratch", reenacting Monty Python's infamous "Black Knight" sketch. Third in line: "Night Moves", a portrait of my cats Sasha and Edward, with a cameo by neighborhood visitor Kit-Kit (the use of color references a segment of Frank Miller's "Hell And Back", a dream sequence rendered in full color as opposed to the usual black-and-white).
Triple Portrait (or "All of Me")
acrylic on illustration board, 5" x 7" each
Winter (Jan) 2007
Okay, so Tragic wasn't the *last* painting I did at UWM. The assignment was to assign a color scheme to three self-portraits (insofar as that actually looks like me); monochromatic, anomalous, and triadic. Thus, let me introduce you to Regular Josh (blue), Suspicious Josh (green/orange), and Creepy Happy-Happy-Joy-Joy Josh (red/blue/yellow).
The Travels of Douglas, Part I
Ink/marker on watercolor paper, 18" x 12" eachFall 2006
Series of drawings starring a character named Douglas (see Sculpture
for more on his creation). Sumi ink is a temperamental medium; I do not recommend it to those of sparse patience. I could have cleaned up the edges while scanning in the images, but bugger all, I like the roughness it has now.
The Travels of Douglas, Part II
Charcoal/marker on watercolor paper, 18"x12" (3), 12"x9" (3)Fall 2006
Second series starring my buddy Douglas, who's a talented hitchhiker, but evidently not that great with people. I like the look of this series far more than the first, though I'm no bigger a fan of charcoal than of sumi ink. But the marker? We're good.
Mixed media on vellum bristol paper, 11"x17" (10)Spring 2007
Such was my obsession with the Eagles that I devoted an entire semester to the study of one song. Hotel California
has for years been the subject of analysis, so building off of various observations I put the analysis into pictorial form, addressing the song's themes of drug use, addiction, greed, materialism, damnation and the perils of living the high life. A thorough walkthrough of the series is available here
Ronn Gilbert: Return of the Magnificent Sevenths
Midterm project. My father was producing his own blues album at the time, so I got the bright idea to design the CD jacket. Dad was blown away by the effort, and wound up using the artwork on the final CD. So if you do manage to spot one of these, pick it up and give it a listen. And I'm not just saying that because he's my daaaooookay, I kind of am.
Final project, assigned to me personally by the instructor: design a comic book cover with myself as the superhero. So here we have me, if I was buff, good-looking, and had a girlfiend. Don't you feel safer already? The characters themselves were hand-drawn, but since the colors, logos, etc. were done entirely in Photoshop, we're droppin' it here.
Winter (Jan) 2007
Final project for my Color Concepts course. The strip is based on material from Christopher Titus' stand-up special "Norman Rockwell is Bleeding"', easily one of most dementedly hilarious comedy acts you're likely to see. The mood of the Titus caricature is meant to be reflected in the colors of the window directly behind him. This piece can be seen in full detail here
Midterm assignment, designed with team members Adrain and Kahara. The goal was to design a fitting monument to the Bayview Massacre of 1886, in which the state militia fired upon workers on strike demanding an 8-hour work day; to symbolize this, the central figure is draped upon a clock set at 8:00, with the date of the tragedy inscribed below in Roman numerals.
This is a bit weird...The assignment was to design a website in which through images and hyperlinks you convey some abstract "narrative" that one navigates without using the Back button. In this case, your job is to choose the path that spares the stick-figure protagonist from some variety of grievous harm, then find the link to return to the main page. (Note: Link opens in new window.)
A public art proposal lamenting the loss of certain local "landmarks". Not a condemnation of progress, just a snide roasting of gentrification; the renovation of a space to conform to middle-class taste. This series highlights Milwaukee's River Point Cinema, Uptown Theater, and County Stadium.
Check Your Mailbox
Are you like me in that you receive more junk mail than actual mail? It's with that in mind that this was designed; a simultaneous commentary on the ongoing energy crisis and on America's continued dependence on spending money we don't actually have (big talk from me now that I'm paying off car and student loans as of this posting).
Clay, acrylic paint, 8" x 10.5" x 1"
Step 1: Assemble a paper collage from magazine clippings. Step 2: Sculpt the collage into a slab of clay. Step 3: Paint the sculpture to match the original collage as closely as possible. It was interesting seeing how certain images came to be; partly for restrictions on size, partly for my general inexperience with three-dimensional artwork.
Wire, paper maché, cloth, latex enamel paint, marbles, approx. 28" tallSpring 2005
Meet Douglas, an extraterrestrial hitchhiker named after a certain sci-fi/satire author famous for tales of galactic thumbing (psst! It's Douglas Adams!). I followed the classic Screamer formula (see Dan Reeder's The Simple Screamer
for more on this), and the whole thing basically served as an excuse to have a blast with a final project.
The Mouth of Madness
Molded plastic, approx. 8.5" tall
It's a mouth, in a tongue, in a mouth, in another mouth. I don't know what inspired this, I don't know what it's supposed to represent. All I know is that this has managed to freak out anybody who's laid eyes upon it.
Wire, paper maché, cloth, latex enamel paint, plastic teeth, approx. 9" tallFall 2005
I was tempting fate doing this as a final project two semesters in a row, but thankfully it paid off. This was designed as a wearable prop, and I've even found occasion to wear it in public. See it in action here
The Money is Always Greener in Somebody Else's Register
Analytical, Fall 2005
A introduction to a hypothetical anthology of humorous short stories about the trials of the workplace.
The Unholy Quest of the Beast
Creative, Fall 2006
A mysterious creature infiltrates an urban area under the cover of night. Are his intentions as cruel as his appearance might suggest?
Riot on the Set
Creative, Fall 2006
The filming of Aliens was adventurous and groundbreaking...but not quite in the fashion we'd been led to believe. Witness the day's typical absurdity as principal photography comes to a close.
Creative, Fall 2006
A troubled writer struggles to complete an assignment in this semi-autobiographical tale of academic ambition, creative hardship, and mild schizophrenia.
The Life You Live, The Life You Invent
Analytical, Spring 2007
A compare-and-contrast of the simulacra - the "imperfect realities" - of feature films Mulholland Dr. (2001) and Memento (2000).
Voices Down the Corridor: An Artist's Statement on "Hotel California"
Alanytical, Spring 2007
A detailed analysis of the themes and symbols explored in my Hotel California drawing series.