Maker and role
Artist: James Gobel, American, born 1972
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Object detail

Felt, yarn, thread, and acrylic on canvas
72 x 60in (182.9 x 152.4cm)
Credit line
Museum purchase with funds from the McNay Contemporary Collectors Forum
Accession number
Object type
Further information
"By replacing paint with felt, the image became softer, humorous, and able to solicit empathy."
—James Gobel

When viewed from a distance, Robert could be mistaken for an oil painting, but further inspection reveals felt’s fuzzy, warm texture. James Gobel begins his artistic process with photographs, then makes drawings in pencil and yarn, and finally composes a mosaic of felt. Gobel often centers subjects who do not possess the idealized body so often celebrated in art. In doing so, he highlights the lack of visibility given to large bodies and specifically here, a subsect of gay culture. Robert is a reference to Giovanni Battista Moroni’s sixteenth-century painting The Tailor (‘Il Tagliapanni’).


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