Subscribe Today!

New podcast-Claes Gabriel on creating a tribe of totems

Libby and Roberta interview Claes Gabriel about his colorful totemic pieces. Born in Haiti, the artist and 1999 MICA graduate is influenced by his well-respected father, the painter Jacques Gabriel.


This episode of Artblog Radio sponsored by Locks Gallery.

Claes Gabriel in his studio talking with us

Claes Gabriel (Claes is pronounced “Clays”) makes bright-colored totemic shapes from stretched canvas over wood armatures.  The works show the artist’s attention to detail in crafting and painting.  The artist, who was born in Port au Prince, Haiti in 1977  is not making “black art” but rather painting his feelings, he says.  He’s the son of a famous Haitian artist, Jacques Gabriel, and yes, he was named after Claes Oldenburg.  Claes came to the US in 1989 and studied at Maryland Institute College of Art (BFA 1999) and while right now he’s in Philadelphia, his long-range plans involve living in Europe.

This episode is edited by Peter Crimmins. The music is by Eric Biondo. Thanks to the Knight Foundation for helping us get the ball rolling on this project. Thanks to J-Lab and William Penn Foundation for additional support and to our partner WHYY NewsWorks for their ongoing support and for sharing artblog radio episodes on the arts & culture page of their community news site You can subscribe to artblog radio on iTunes.