James Gobel, Robert, 2007. Felt, yarn, thread, and acrylic on canvas. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds from the McNay Contemporary Collectors Forum. © 2019 James Gobel

Using highly tactile materials, James Gobel’s portrait evokes traditionally feminine pursuits such as quilting; yet, the imagery would most readily be called masculine. 

In his artwork, Gobel celebrates the heavyset male figure. His subjects are inspired by portraits of art history, gay culture, and the people he knows. 

“By replacing paint with felt, the image became softer, humorous, and able to solicit empathy.”
— James Gobel

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