O. Gail Poole’s Sideshow

at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

Sideshows are, by definition, diversions that use the spectacular, unusual or bizarre to entertain or distract the masses. O. Gail Poole’s Sideshow takes a look at the late artist’s enigmatic and witty caricatures he created as critiques of the weaknesses in American culture.

Born in Marlow, Oklahoma, Orville Gail Poole (1935-2013), often known as just Poole, developed an interest in art at an early age. With support from his mother and education from the University of Oklahoma, he went on to pursue a career in advertising, initially at Ackerman McQueen, before founding Poole-Hobbes, Inc. in 1967. During this time, he began painting images of the American West in an impressionistic style.

With influences ranging from the Renaissance to Vincent van Gogh, Poole’s successful painting career allowed him to sell his shares in the firm in 1975 to devote himself to a career as an artist. Now, you can see the fruits of his labor at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art January 24 through May 10. Viewing this exhibit, you will come to see that the sideshow is everywhere we look.

Image Credits:

Image 1:
O. Gail Poole (U.S., 1935-2013)
The Inner Self, ca. 1992
Oil on canvas
47 1/4 x 35 ½”
Courtesy of The O. Gail Poole Collection

Image 2:
O. Gail Poole (U.S., 1935-2013)
Strong Man, ca. 2000
Oil on Masonite
22 x 16 ½”
Courtesy of The O. Gail Poole Collection

Image 3:
O. Gail Poole (U.S., 1935-2013)
Fire Eater, ca. 2000
Oil on paper
39 x 25 3/8”
Courtesy of The O. Gail Poole Collection

Image 4:
O. Gail Poole (U.S., 1935-2013)
Mental Dilemma/No Joke
Oil on Masonite
33 7/8 x 21 5/8”
Courtesy of the O. Gail Poole Collection

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