Born 1954

Sculptor and installation artist Robert Gober defamiliarizes everyday objects and the human body throughout his wry, quietly subversive practice. Since the 1970s, he’s imbued his hand-fabricated versions of common objects and body parts—cat litter and crucifixes; urinals and pews; legs and nipples—with layers of meaning, inviting the viewer to engage with themes of loss, longing, trauma, and intimacy. Through selective exaggerations (distorting the appearance of a bag of cat litter), meaningful alterations (a sink with no faucets), and narrative juxtapositions (a block of cheese sprouting hair), Gober taps into the uncanny. His use of beeswax often adds an unreal sheen to his pieces. While his themes may be universal, the artist also draws from his Catholic upbringing, his gay identity, and the devastation of the AIDS epidemic.