• Artist depicts horses, human drama

    Work by Ashlander Gabriel Mark Lipper will be on display at Hanson Howard Gallery through August
  • Gabriel Mark Lipper sees horses as a means to explore human society.
    • email print
  • Gabriel Mark Lipper sees horses as a means to explore human society.
    The Ashland artist, who maintains a working studio in Talent, is showing masterfully done paintings of horses and people at Hanson Howard Gallery in Ashland through the end of this month.
    "I'm looking at the horse as a metaphor," he said. "The horse represents physical power to me. It's interesting to see how that physical power translates into social status."
    Lipper travels across the country to polo, dressage and jumping events to view the horses he depicts in his paintings. He also frequents local equestrian events.
    He combines them with images of people to create social commentaries.
    Lipper often taps local actors, dance company members and friends to serve as models for his paintings.
    "I'm creating a character that I've seen in the world, things I've seen in my experience," he said.
    The paintings often seem to tell a story about the different sources of people's power.
    In "Short Work," a man with a loosened tie and drink in his hand beckons imperiously for someone outside the painting field to come to him. The man obviously thinks that the other person — a waiter perhaps? — should be at his beck and call.
    Meanwhile, a bored woman, her cleavage showing, sucks on a martini olive and another woman in a mini dress looks flirtatiously at the viewer. Mounted horses in the background are like props, helping to set the stage for the human drama.
    In other paintings, horses are more central. The large-scale piece "Persephone" shows a gray horse coming down from a jump. The horse and its rider are set against a hazy, abstract field of color.
    Reader Reaction
      • calendar