Gregg Gibbs’ Paintings of Sensual Sandwiches Are Showing at Philippe The Original – Saturday, September 29
Longtime DTLA favorite Philippe The Original turns 110 years old on Monday, October 1, 2018. The celebration starts a few days earlier, when an art exhibition of Gregg Gibbs’ work called “Sandwiches & Carvers” opens on Saturday, September 29. The restaurant’s menu and staff inspired the paintings in the collection.
A third-generation native Angeleno, Gibbs admires Philippe’s for serving “the most pure of sandwiches.” Even after all these years, they keep it simple—just two pieces of bread with meat in the middle. Gibbs says, “There’s nothing else on the sandwich. Two pieces of bread with meat in the middle, and on top of that, it’s baptized in blood. The French dip was invented at Philippe.”
Gibbs has been a customer for many years, and over time, Philippe’s food found its way into his art. “I started painting Philippe sandwiches, and I really got into the correlation between oil painting classic still lifes and this very simplified idea of nurture, of nutrition, of the comfort that comes along with eating, which we all have to do.”
Gregg Gibbs’ painting of a Philippe The Original pork single-dip sandwich with mustard
Gibbs works with oil paints and sees a connection between the au jus of the sandwiches and the oil of the paint. “The paintings I’ve done of the Philippe sandwiches look like they’re dripping of au jus. They look like the meat is slightly falling off the bun, the bun has a certain crustness to it that’s not perfection. Those flaws and those natural qualities make them much more interesting to paint.”
When he describes a Philippe The Original sandwich, his voice reveals his passion for his subject. “You look at the formal concepts of it—the torpedo shape, the abstractness, the way it’s sliced in the middle, and the two halves come together in a sexual kind of way, and they’re dripping. Their only accoutrement is mustard, and they have this incredible specific mustard that you can’t find anywhere else, and of course, that dripping out of it, the sensualness of what happens with a Philippe French dip.”
Gregg Gibbs’ portrait of Rosina, 34 years at Philippe the Original
To fully appreciate Gregg Gibbs’ art, it probably helps to order a Philippe sandwich and experience the exhibit using all of your senses. On Monday, October 1, from 4 to 8 pm, the restaurant welcomes the public to its 110th anniversary party, which will include live entertainment, raffles, games, giveaways, and specially-priced beef, pork, ham, and turkey dip sandwiches. In honor of the big anniversary, the sandwiches will cost only $1.10.
Top image: Gregg Gibbs’ painting of a Philippe The Original beef double-dip sandwich with mustard
September 29 – October 6, 2018
Regular business hours (6 am – 10 pm daily)
Saturday, September 29 (6 – 9 pm)
Monday, October 1 (4 – 8 pm)
Philippe The Original
1001 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, California 90012
Gregg Gibbs’ painting of a Philippe The Original beef triple-dip sandwich with mustard, messy.