Justin Gibbens

Sea Change

In keeping with his signature brand of subversive natural history, Gibbens’ recent body of work utilizes marine mammals, or cetaceans as a central subject. Both ubiquitous in their distribution and seemingly elusive, whales, porpoises and dolphins face a multitude of threats ranging from accidental trapping, to intentional hunting, marine pollution, and the siege of ongoing climate change. Despite their colossal size, these creatures are by and large defenseless, having ironically evolved to primarily feast on plankton, the smallest inhabitants of the seas.

Cetaceans are known to teach, learn, cooperate, scheme and grieve, so they serve as useful metaphors for our own human experience. Either as harbinger or as vulnerable underdog, Gibbens uses the conventions of natural science illustration to imagine these creatures in a new and unexpected light.

Justin Gibbens, Razzle Dazzle, 2020, watercolor, ink, acrylic on paper, 15 x 22, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, Razzle Dazzle, 2020, watercolor, ink, acrylic on paper, 15 x 22, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, Decoy i, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 12 x 18 inches, $1000.

Justin Gibbens, Decoy i, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 12 x 18 inches, $1000.

Justin Gibbens, Decoy ii, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 12 x 18 inches, $1000.

Justin Gibbens, Decoy ii, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 12 x 18 inches, $1000.

Justin Gibbens, Decoy iv, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 11 x 13 inches, $850.

Justin Gibbens, Decoy iv, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 11 x 13 inches, $850.

Justin Gibbens, Decoy iii, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 10 x 13 inches, $850.

Justin Gibbens, Decoy iii, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 10 x 13 inches, $850.

Justin Gibbens, Flare, 2020, watercolor, ink on paper, 22 x 15, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, Flare, 2020, watercolor, ink on paper, 22 x 15, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, Smoke Signals, 2020, watercolor, ink, acrylic on paper, 15 x 22, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, Smoke Signals, 2020, watercolor, ink, acrylic on paper, 15 x 22, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, Plume, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 10 x 13 inches, $1000.

Justin Gibbens, Plume, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 10 x 13 inches, $1000.

Justin Gibbens, The Smallest Largest Animal, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 10 x 13 inches, $850.

Justin Gibbens, The Smallest Largest Animal, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 10 x 13 inches, $850.

Justin Gibbens, Whale Shark, 2013, watercolor, gouache, ink, tea on paper, 26 x 37.5 inches, $2600.

Justin Gibbens, Whale Shark, 2013, watercolor, gouache, ink, tea on paper, 26 x 37.5 inches, $2600.

Justin Gibbens, SBD, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 10 x 13 inches, $850.

Justin Gibbens, SBD, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 10 x 13 inches, $850.

Justin Gibbens, Diamonds in the Rough, 2020, watercolor, ink on paper, 22 x 15, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, Diamonds in the Rough, 2020, watercolor, ink on paper, 22 x 15, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, The Squid and the Whale, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 23 x 15 inches, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, The Squid and the Whale, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 23 x 15 inches, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, Bavarian Walrus i, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 10 x 13 inches, SOLD

Justin Gibbens, Bavarian Walrus i, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 10 x 13 inches, SOLD

Justin Gibbens, Bavarian Walrus ii, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 13 x 10 inches, $850.

Justin Gibbens, Bavarian Walrus ii, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 13 x 10 inches, $850.

Justin Gibbens, Mascara, 2020, watercolor, ink on paper, 20 x 15, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, Mascara, 2020, watercolor, ink on paper, 20 x 15, $1800.

Justin Gibbens, Daisy Chain, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 30 x 23 inches, $3200. (hold)

Justin Gibbens, Daisy Chain, 2017, watercolor, ink on paper, 30 x 23 inches, $3200. (hold)