Avery Gibbes

Home All

Avery Gibbes is a Toronto-based artist and a recent graduate of OCAD University. Working primarily in painting, his current practice revolves around the continual creation and exploration of an imaginary alien world. At the centre of his work are imagined narratives taking place in made-up environments, and these are constructed through sketches that experiment with designs and explore scenarios. Each painting builds off of the previous one, giving viewers a deeper look into what exists within the world that he is showcasing.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

Weirdos of Another Universe

There are many different "worlds" that exist within our perception. These worlds exist physically, figuratively, conceptually and culturally, and our understanding of them is constantly changing and evolving as we each gain new experiences and learn more about the different worlds around us. It is inevitable at different points in our lives that we'll be faced with entering worlds that are outside of what we already know. This could mean beginning a new career path, moving to a new city, joining a new club, adapting to a new culture, or graduating from school and entering the larger world.

"Weirdos of Another Universe" is a series of paintings where I've decided to explore the “what ifs” of an imaginary situation where a small population of humans suddenly exist within an alien world. This series is about the feeling of being an outsider after having entered a new world, and gradually figuring out how to find your way in. This narrative sits at the core of the series, and each painting serves to either further explore this narrative or to further build the world within which it is taking place.

$1,450.00 CAD

Oil on canvas.

38x54"

One night I was thinking about creating a portion of my alien world that the humans in the world would have the ability to admire but couldn't actually live in or participate in very easily. This led to the idea of having part of this world exist underwater, where a human couldn't naturally survive for very long. The aliens that live in this underwater city are a lot like the aliens that live in the world above the water, except these aliens have the ability to survive and thrive underwater. A human and an alien from the world above can look on and imagine what life might be like for those who can live in this part of the alien world, but they know that they themselves could never survive that far below the surface of the water.

Maybe in the future there will be some technology to allow the humans to go for a visit, but for now it is outside of what they can do.

Avery Gibbes

$1,000.00 CAD

Oil on canvas.

46x30"

This painting started as a building design inspired by a pickaxe prop that one of my friends was making. For a long time I wasn't sure what purpose the building would end up serving. Near the end of the process, I decided that it would make the most sense for it to be a research facility.

This is one painting that takes a break from the narrative that's at the heart of the series and is more geared towards strictly exploring what's within the alien world that this narrative is taking place within.

Avery Gibbes

$650.00 CAD

Oil on canvas.

24x30"

This painting in many ways feels like the end of the first chapter in this series exploring my imaginary alien world. The humans have learned and grown enough in the alien world to the point where some are now established enough to live independently. A young couple moving into their own apartment for the first time signals a big step forward for the humans in the alien world.

Avery Gibbes

$1,200.00 CAD

Oil on canvas.

48x36"

Going into this painting, I knew that I wanted to explore what the city would look like, and I figured that this would also be a good opportunity to include my humans and aliens together in a social setting. Doing this in the form of a rooftop dining scene allowed me to picture a couple of humans participating in a gathering with some newly befriended aliens while still giving me room to picture some of the city's architecture in the way that I had envisioned. I imagine the humans in this picture spending the night observing their surroundings and doing their best to become accustomed to the manners and social cues of their new circle.

Avery Gibbes

$950.00 CAD

Oil on canvas.

40x30"

I'd been interested in the idea of having parts of my alien world exist above deeper bodies of water than what I'd been picturing in many of my paintings leading up to this one. When I decided to pursue this idea, I thought that it would then be natural for the buildings in these areas to be designed to float on the surface of the water rather than being built into the ground below.

What's pictured in this painting is a neighbourhood of floating houses within a forest of tall plants stretching upward from below the water's surface. The plants were inspired by the textures on the outside of a soursop fruit, along with the textures at the fruit's centre. The house designs began as combinations of sphere shapes and developed from there.

The narrative that I've been working with over the course of this series continues in the lower left quarter of the painting where a human is swimming up to one of the houses and being greeted by an alien friend named Mayvoi.

Avery Gibbes

$1,050.00 CAD

Oil on canvas.

42x32"

As someone who plays the guitar often, the guitar tends to find its way into my art from time to time. While I was brainstorming new scenarios to act as the basis of new paintings, I thought it would be funny if a couple of the aliens saw one of the humans playing the guitar and wanted to know how to play it themselves. I liked the idea because, while most of the other paintings in the series show the humans learning and growing in the alien world, this idea was one instance where that gets flipped around and the humans have the chance to offer something of their own to the aliens.

Whenever you are in a new environment, particularly when you're young, it can be easy to feel like you don't know anything and don't have anything to offer. This idea recalls the moment when you realize that you do have something to give to the world - even if just small.

Avery Gibbes

$950.00 CAD

Oil on canvas.

46x28"

"Learning how to Play Baltobian Toss" is one example of an instance where an idea came out of a rough design and not the other way around. The idea of having aliens teaching humans how to participate in a game of theirs came out of a few rough sketches that I'd made picturing the plants that the figures in the picture are standing on. These drawings led me to imagine a composition involving a number of figures standing in a circle on top of the plants, and that developed into what ended up being this painting.

While I never went as far as to define all the rules of the game that the aliens are teaching the humans, it is obvious that the game requires its players to handle what's thrown their way while maintaining balance. Sometimes more than one thing gets thrown a players way, but if they remain focused and maintain balance they'll be able to stay in the game.

Avery Gibbes

$1,250.00 CAD

Oil on canvas.

50x38"

This piece began when I started thinking about how the government might work in my imaginary world. At a certain point I thought "what if instead of one alien as leader, there were three aliens that together occupied the position of the leader?" This thought then developed into a scene where the newly elected "president trio" rides into office on a big fancy boat-like vehicle through a crowd of onlookers, both alien and human.

Avery Gibbes