RICHARD GILLES, Mad Greek, 2008; from Signs of the Times, 10 x 22 in., inkjet print. Edition of 10.
Richard Gilles’ Mad Greek is from the series Signs of the Times, a body of work focused on the blank vehicles of outdoor advertising and the often remote landscapes where they are situated. While these forlorn screens in empty environments can easily serve as reminders of tough economic times, they also invite new narratives to be projected onto them. Gilles explains: “Billboards, as they are more commonly known, are a reflection of our society and economy. In fact, the outdoor advertising industry's trade publication is called Signs of the Times. I am interested in what these signs might say about us or to us when they are empty. Is a blank billboard an advertisement for economic decline? Or is it a minimalist object whose message is only that which the viewer brings to it?” Gilles holds a BFA from San Francisco State University and his work is included in the collections of the Southeast Museum of Photography in Florida and the University of California Davis, Richard L. Nelson Fine Arts Collection.