June 30 2014 05:50 PM

Painter spends plenty of time curating and exhibiting interesting work online

Steve Gibson
Steve Gibson
Photo by Kinsee Morlan

Steve Gibson has spent his life making art. And since 2012, he's been posting online about art, too, at his blog, Mockingbird. The site isn't a pulpit—Gibson doesn't critique or analyze here; rather, he shares images of contemporary painting and two-dimensional works that he likes.

"I'm basically proselytizing my aesthetic," says Gibson, who, for his own art, primarily paints abstract works that play with color, lines and shapes.

A San Diego native with a long résumé, Gibson spends the bulk of his time creating in his La Mesa studio—he's currently working on large-scale oil paintings on linen and drawings on Mylar. But he also devotes about an hour a day to combing the web for images to post, ranging from non-objective abstraction to figuration to narrative works, and contacting the artists for their permission.

"There is a thread that weaves its way through the work [on the blog] that can be traced back to my work, and therefore becomes a kind of notebook for me, referencing what I think works in a painting," Gibson explains.

For each image he posts, Gibson includes the title, date, media, dimensions and the artist's or gallery's website. Sometimes he'll write brief captions describing why he likes the work.

"It gives me the opportunity to pay back the people I like and help give them more exposure," he says. "Maybe they get something; maybe they don't. It depends on how many eyeballs see it."

The blog—updated every other day or so—serves as an educational resource for people to see what's happening in contemporary painting. Though Gibson showcases the work of other artists, he'll occasionally post an image of his own work.

Few people leave comments, but some are responding. In addition to making connections and sparking online conversations with other artists, Gibson's blog inspired a new role for himself—online exhibition curator.

Max Presneill, director and curator at The Torrance Art Museum, asked Gibson to curate the museum's first-ever online exhibition. The result, Intersection: Contemporary Abstraction and Figuration, included several artists whom Gibson had discovered online during his daily web searches.

"The blog has become my contact with the outside world of artists and galleries that I would not have otherwise had access to," he says. "All I can do is put what I think is important out there and see who responds."


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