Briefly describe the work you do.
I am an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in video, sculpture and performance. My work revolves around the incongruities of the physical and the metaphysical. Like Kierkegaard, I am interested in the absurdity of faith and faith based actions. I explore the vast depth of faith beyond just religious faith into what I consider realms of faith that are taken for granted; for example faith that mud on a canvas can depict something other than mud on a canvas.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
My working background is as a graphic designer. This has influenced the way I work by introducing me to typography which has grown my appreciation for the written word. I am heavily influenced by the way typography looks and by the things we take words to mean.
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
I think of my studio as a place for me to explore. Most of my studio work is not toiling away but rather experimenting and getting to know materials. In the studio mistakes are made and hopefully some little gem is found. Once I find these gems I develop finished pieces in a more traditional manner. My practice has waves of really knowing what I am going for and then times when I am just confused as hell.
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I experience censorship for the first time in Rockport, MA this August. I found myself between conservative catholics and two great people, Bob and Jill Armstrong of iArtcolony, in Rockport. I found myself in the role of satisfying those who were angry and still maintaining my artistic integrity. This lead me to make two works in response, Rockport Mass and “…in a drifting boat with a slow leakage” – T.S. Eliot.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
I work best when I am rested. This usually means late morning and early afternoon. I have several days a week that are my studio days.
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
Grad school definitely changed the specificity of my work and pushed me more in the direction of performance. I remain attached to objects and things but before I never considered myself a performance artist.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
I draw influence from many writers and artist. Recently the most impactful have been Ann Hamilton and Annie Dillard. Dillard especially has such a wonderful voice that is wistful and wandering while heavy as the Old Testament. Another great poet that I love is Wendell Berry. Anyone who sees mystical meaning in physical objects will find that i am a fan of their work.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
I dream of being in a position like Bill and Malinda Gates. I would love to have a ton of money to give to people who are doing amazing things for the betterment of humankind and this planet. I am not sure what the job title would be, something like International Not for Profit Researcher and Grant Giver.
Greg is an interdisciplinary artist who has been working since 2009. He received his MFA from Tufts University in conjunction with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 2014. Originally from California he works in Boston and the New England area while exhibiting his work around the world.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.
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Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is one of my favorite books, too, and inspiration for my work as an artist as well. The closeness of her observation and her inquisitiveness leading to wonder and awe…..