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Read Text Only: Pride Issue
Art: James Gobel


James Gobel does things with yarn, rhinestones and felt that takes arts and crafts to a new level. His recent works, currently exhibiting at Marx & Zavattero Gallery in San Francisco, depicts the chubby gay man’s Bear subculture in a glamorous color fantasy of Pop and Rock and Roll. Inspired by lyrics of his legendary idols like Freddy Mercury, these buxom male subjects flaunt their sensuality and style while acting out glorious on-stage performances under strobe lights and glitter, shimmering for our delight.

By creating a variety of boldly colored fluorescent pinks, greens, yellow, beaded and bedazzled outfits, his subjects reach pop icon status with reckless abandon. Gobel believes that big is beautiful and should be celebrated in today’s society, as it has become overran by salad-eating, skinny jean-wearing men. Simply put, his flamboyant portrayal of glammified hefty men show just how beautiful they are.

Gobel shows a different side of bearish gay men, like the days when men of royal stature wore elaborate robes while adorning themselves with jewels and decorative ornaments. In those days, being a plump man equally meant wealth and status.

Another addition to his new work are custom fabricated beanbags, in a variety of plaid textiles (a standard amongst Bear culture fashion) in cashmere and silk, serving as sculptures bridging luxury with a bear’s quest for comfort and relaxation.

James attention to detail and eye for showmanship is apparent in every piece he’s created for his show entitled “I Get What I Want, and Always Get it.” His playful portrayal of the Bear subculture will definitely put a smile on your face and inspire you to be glamorous in everything you do, no matter what number pops up on your scale in the morning.

Marx & Zavattero

77 Geary Street (2nd Floor)

San Francisco, CA 94108

Showing from June 12 – July 17, 2010

Take Everything, I Want You Too
22" x 17", felt, yarn, rhinestones,
& acrylic on canvas, 2010

Custom beanbags 48" diam. 2010
wool and stuffing

Closeup of James Gobel's artwork
showing the texture and detail.

Paper sketches with song lyrics.