Gus Gaston
Graphic Design

Gus Gaston (American, b. 2000) explores communicating ideas and messages that transcend the bounds of language. The majority of their art thus far has been about articulating memories and experiences growing up in Tennessee as a liberal creative-thinker struggling with mental illness. As they continue to grow in their practice and learn more about the world, Gaston is focused on making art that communicates complex ideas about self identity, cultural differences, and personal histories.

Through a multi-disciplinary practice, Gaston is able to utilize illustration, digital art, collage, and other media during their time at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where they’re pursuing a BFA degree in Graphic Design. Their current thesis work is focused on synesthesia--a disorder where stimulating one sense automatically triggers another--and will be on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art at UTC from March 28-April 9th, 2022.

Artist Statement:

Colors are one of the first things we learn. They are seemingly objective, but experienced subjectively and individually: we have memories of specific colors that inform our feelings, cultural implications that change our opinions, and preconceived notions about “good” and “bad” colors. They are seen and experienced differently by every individual that sees them. The understanding of a color that one person has is not necessarily seen as the same color by another. But this does not mean that the color being viewed isn’t real. It is real because it exists and we can see it, experience it, appreciate it.

The way I perceive color is through my own subjective numbered associations. Logically, it makes no sense. Through a process of taking moments to gather data (song lyrics, important dates, memorized phone numbers, addresses, etc.) I’ve compiled audio that sparks these number associations. Though the logic is subjective at best, it is the system that informs my work, my practice, and my everyday life.

There isn’t another person in the world that sees colors the way I do. No one else that can articulate these connections. But it’s not that these connections aren’t real. I experience these associations; they fill up my day and my brain and all my thoughts.