- Newspaper (Having it All)
- Photo litograph on newspaper
Robert Gober introduced his very personal take on Appropriation art in the 1980s and 90s. Familiar objects from the home environment such as a crib, a sink, a drain, or a stack of newspapers create the initial impression of ready-mades, but all are handmade by the artist. The works are strongly infused with his memories, but they also trigger emotions that are common to us all, such as discomfort, doubt and suffering. Existing in dialogue with the things we consider ‘normal’, Gober’s works investigate his sense of ‘otherness’ as a gay man. The transfigured objects tell their stories on several different levels, presenting intricate and mystifying narratives concerned with childhood, sexuality, religion, discrimination and memory. On closer inspection they take on a symbolic character, onto which the viewer’s experiences and unconscious desires can be projected.
A pile of newspapers on the floor appears to be perfectly ordinary, but has been handmade by the artist. On the front page is a picture of a bride who, upon closer examination, is actually a man – in fact, Gober himself. Furthermore, the work is concerned with the opposition to same-sex marriage during this time and underscore Gober’s message: the desire to fit into American society as a homosexual man.