Steve Gianakos engages in an attractive and provocative imagery, in which the narration refers to the era of “innocence” of the 50’s and 60’s. In his work he mocks the mass hysteria that accompanied the pursuit of the “American dream” and the stereotypes that follow the development of the consumer society.
He draws his forms with crisp lines that bring to mind the simplicity of minimalism. In his work the formalist rigor is found together with a pretentious vulgarity. Appropriating the iconic style of 1950’s children books, Gianakos’ characters assume a basic innocence that belies their hyperbolic actions. Working with only stark black lines, Gianakos delivers his punch straight up. His geometric inter-framing both leads the eye into the scene while also disorienting it. Harnessing the grotesque both formally and contextually, Gianakos finds a way to astonishingly marry the two.
He is one of the key figures in pop art in the USA who has recently participated in the group show “Disturbing Innocence” curated by Eric Fischl at the FLAG Art Foundation in New York and previously at “Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration” at MoMA New York. His work has been included many times in major exhibitions curated by important museum persons, such as Robert Rosenblum and Robert Storr and it often attracts reviews by art critics in the international press, such as “Art in America”, “The New York Times”, “Art Forum” etc. His works are found in permanent museum collections like the Guggenheim, MoMA, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Museum of Chicago, the New York State Museum and the Whitney Museum in New York.
In 2015 he participated at the “2015 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts” organized by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York.