There is something inherently Southern about Sloan Bibb’s artwork.
Through the inclusion of found objects like classic car emblems, the use of natural media like beeswax and tar and the depiction of humble, lighthearted figures and scenes, the Alabama native has created a decidedly Dixie oeuvre. It sort of looks like what would happen if Damien Hirst joined the crew of “American Pickers.”
Bibb’s work has found a natural home at The Copper Fox, a gallery in Leiper’s Fork that is currently hosting several of his pieces.
“As far as the imagery goes, I know what the main element will be when I start, but as I flip through old magazines and catalogs the story grows and usually changes,” Bibb said in a statement provided by the gallery. “I try to put things together that don’t go together or are just comical together.”
Bibb’s sense of humor is apparent in work at the gallery, like a mounted fish sporting a Chrysler emblem. And his nostalgia for Americana media comes through in several pieces that include illustrated housewives and suburbia blueprints. But in every piece, his penchant for layering a wide spectrum of materials to create a seemingly historic and well-worn tableaux is dominant.
“As you can see, the heart and soul of my work is texture,” Bibb said. “And most, well, all of my techniques for creating these textures have been conceived through ‘happy’ mistakes.”
Bibb typically layers his work with paper, then paints over it. He often sands the paint all the way through in places, then adds a layer of beeswax that is sanded and scraped as well. Finally, he usually adds tar.
In Good Bones, a guitar has been deconstructed and reassembled, demonstrating its potential even after being discarded. It is a stark illustration of the new vitality that can come from simply reimagining a firmly “country” object. It extends beyond the canvas in a boundary-defying way.
Bibb currently lives and works in his hometown of Decatur, Alabama. He once worked in the advertising industry but now pursues art full time.
Copper Fox Gallery is located at 4136 Old Hillsboro Road in Leiper’s Fork.