FEATURED ARTIST: New York City’s Lower East Side Contemporary Painter Greg Gregor

  • October 30, 2019 17:23

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Snake Fight
Greg Gregor’s Studio

Full disclosure we've known Gregor as a brooding, techie Vice President and colleague for more than ten years. His love of art was always evident,exhibited in his excitement when art fairs came to town or in his travels to Art Basel Miami Beach over the years.  Little did we know about the back story. It was not until this summer Gregor announced in conversation that he would be seriously focusing on his art practice. Wait. What?

We were even more nicely surprised when Gregor shared visuals of works he had been creating. Immediately evident was his juxtaposition of soft and hard, chaos and calm - much like the artist himself.  For this feature we asked this quintessential New Yorker (born on Staten Island) about his art practice. He shared with us what motivates him as an artist and what he wants readers to know about his process, practice and challenges.

What motivates you as an artist?
I love to create. I need to create. I don't have a choice, it's always been in me. And it doesn't matter which format or which medium. The main motivation probably comes from feeling I get when I complete a piece or finish a photography series that I'm happy with and turns out just as I wanted - or better.  The spark of inspiration, the evolution of ideas, the actual process of creating and satisfaction of completion - it all contributes to my motivation.

What’s your process in making art?
I love doing mini series of five or six pieces. Each series will vary in look, style, subject matter. It keeps it interesting for me and tests my creativity.  I'll get an idea that will live with me. It will evolve and mutate until it presents itself in a way that works perfectly for a series - and that's when the excitement begins for me. I'll start mapping out each piece with sketches. I usually work on one, max two, pieces at a time. By the time I'm done with all the pieces I'm ready for a new challenge and subject matter. This formula works well for me.

Why do you paint or shoot photography
I paint and shoot photographs because I love the act of doing it, the process, as well as enjoy the finished results.

Joshua Hull 2
Greg gregor’s studio

What do you want people to know about you as an artist?
I don't know. Maybe just enjoy me art, or hate my art. That's what it's there for. What people should know is that each and every one is an artist inside. I think it was Woody Allen who said that 90% is just showing up, or something in that vain. In this case, pick up a pencil, a brush, some clay or a camera. Art is the easiest way to get passionate about something. I find it funny how art has such a critical role in the early stages of our life, but then dissipates for some unexplained reason.

Where are you from? What can you tell us about the art community there?
New York City. Specifically the Lower East Side. The inspiration is endless here. In my neighborhood, galleries are popping up all the time. Some tiny and some established, but all showing great new work from great talents. And the established Chelsea galleries and the museums are all there for the taking too. I love the city but it doesn't necessarily inspire me like viewing great or interesting art. I love it for the accessibility of all types of art. Honestly, I get just as much satisfaction from view interesting work as I do creating my own. Just being around art, mine or others, is the same satisfying feeling.

What are some of the challenges you face as an artist?
I think every artist struggle with self-evaluation. At times, regrettably, I've painted over some of my work. I often find myself in this cycle - 1) excited about a concept 2) diligent in the creation 3) please with the results, only to have a visceral reaction to it a short time later. Maybe a week or so, which then I must paint something new over it to ensure it no longer exists. I don't know why and I bet other painters struggle with something similar. But the few times I resisted, I've come to appreciate the work. I wish I could get some of those pieces back. It's like postpartum painting.

Which artists do you admire and why?

Little Boots
Greg Gregor’s Studio
I really like Schnabel and Hirst for the fact that they are not afraid to make work that is such a diversion of what they've done before. The amazing thing with them is that you may look at two completely different pieces either one has done and somewhat know, that both are a Hirst or both are a Schnabel. That's the genius.  I do admire most artist. The fact that someone is creating and expressing through art, even if I'm not crazy about it, is admirable.

Is there an anecdote or quote you’d like to share about your practice, the art world or in general?
Art is a spectator sport with no rules.

Greg Gregor's work is available for purchase on 1stdibs: https://www.1stdibs.com/search/art/?q=greg%20gregor

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Roz Joseph Group

Enjoy interviews and profiles, deep dives such as our conversation with former NASA engineer, now an artist. We plan to offer sneak peeks of our favorite wines, vegan dishes, destinations and people who are making a mark or reinventing their existence.

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