Artwork details

Untitled (Man Coming out of a Woman)
1993 - 1994
Wax, human hair, sock, leather shoe
30,3 x 72,4 x 85,1

Robert Gober

b. 1954

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.


In this work Robert Gober processes memories of his childhood, when his mother, who was a nurse, often entertained her children with stories from the operating theatre. Such stories made a vivid impression on Gober, and he regarded the sculpture itself as an image of the slow process of separation from his mother.

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© Astrup Fearnley Museet