Exhibition title: The Dying Gaul
Artist: Chad Person
Exhibition dates: August 26 – October 7, 2011
Exhibition space: Philip J. Steele Gallery

Addressing the convergence of economy and power structures throughout history, Chad Person employs an array of media in order to illustrate concepts of cultural dominance, consumerism and Manifest Destiny. His work speaks to capitalist ideologies inherent in American politics, and often utilizes aspects of performance and intervention. Person’s exhibition at the Philip J. Steele Gallery focused on a  singular piece - the monumental sculpture, The Dying Gaul.

The Dying Gaul is a life-size, 40-foot inflatable sculpture of a sperm whale, which symbolizes the result of compulsive behavior. In the artist’s words, “the deflating white whale symbolizes a cyclical end to obsession. Much like a beached whale, which dies when it's non-buoyant mass collapses under its own weight, human obsession frequently spirals out of control until its bearer can no longer support its mass. …it inflates until full and then slowly deflates, collapsing inward on itself, and without witness, the cycle begins anew.” Similar to its original installation in the desert of Marfa, TX, The Dying Gaul installed in landlocked Colorado was left out to dry.

Work shown courtesy of the artist.

Photography: Corwin Lacert