NY born artist Gaia just finished setting up a new complex installation at the Rice University Art Gallery which will be officially revealed and opened tonight. The prolific Baltimore and Brooklyn-based artist has spent the last couple of years traveling the world, getting engaged in different projects, campaigns and efforts. Mostly focused on the problems of deteriorating urban neighborhoods, the young artist has tried to rejuvenate these areas and bringing attention to their plight by creating art. In such efforts, he has collaborated with a lot of other activists / artists, as well as different organizations focused on similar issues. As a part of Baltimore’s Wall Hunter art collective, his public art is meant to “identify, embarrass, and sometimes infuriate those absentee landlords whose vacant buildings embody one of Baltimore’s most visible and long-standing problems.” In his work, Gaia is not limited either with media he is using, or the genre of his work practice. His work is more about exploration, and getting to know the place he is working in. Talking and interviewing the locals, finding out their personal stories, and getting as much information as possible about the area he is working in, is highly important in his process.

In 2012-2013, he created a commissioned mural installation at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA). Similar to that, his installation at the Rice University Art Gallery represents his “impression of Houston’s sprawling urban landscape and increasingly international demographic.” By using different mediums such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and collage, Gaia created a study of the city, with special focus being put on faculty, staff and students at Rice University. From its landscape, wildlife, architectural elements, popular and less popular landmarks, different alphabets used, to oil portraits of the people working and living there, this installation presents artist’s impression of Houston, TX.

Discuss Gaia here.