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About Greg

Baltimore City

I am an Artist and Adjunct Professor of Art, primarily, at Towson University. I received an MFA from the University of Arizona and a BFA from UNC Asheville. I consider myself to be primarily a narrative painter, working with the figure, urban architecture and decay, and the idea of Magical Realism.

Fantasy, Surreal, and Subterfuge 2015-17

This group of paintings, like the first "Fantasy, Surreal, and Subterfuge," is a collection of works that float between conscious and unconscious thoughts and urges. They investigates ideas of transformation, identity, subversive behavior, and the individual’s place in society. While these images lean more toward fantasy- at their core, they are addressing questions of how, with all of our unique beliefs, practices, and identities, we manage to coexist with a simulacrum of peace.

The Mysteries of Baltimore

For this series of paintings, I've been working with Baltimore's architecture, people, and animals, to develop stories with allegorical overtones. They are based around people's ability to find beauty and wonder among be-devilingly difficult circumstances. In Mysteries of Baltimore IV (Unexpected Windfall), a hungry fox unexpectedly comes upon a group of chickens. The fox has come upon an unexpected windfall, a winning lottery ticket. A dream countless people in Baltimore share. Somehow, good luck will come their way, and deliver them from their dire situation. In Mysteries of Baltimore II, Young Zonnen finds beauty (the Easter Bunny and a golden egg) among the ruins of the city. Again, an example of hope and aspiration in the midst of despair and decay. Most of these Mysteries contain some sort of moral or ambition, though this kind of aspirational thinking might more easily fit in a dream, nightmare, or dystopian future.

Nagasaki, Japan

This is an ongoing series of paintings rooted in the architecture and people of Nagasaki, Japan. I realize that Nagasaki is most well known to the US as one of the two cities on which atomic bombs were dropped. I am purposefully choosing to show other aspects of the city. Having a wife from Nagasaki, and spending significant time there myself, I know that the city is much more than this horrible episode. I hope to describe the unique texture of the city. Despite the bombing, it is well known in Japan as a historically rich city. Some of these paintings are about me understanding the city and my place in it. They are densely layered paintings, and in person, very luminous.
Though Japan certainly has the historic architecture it is so well known for, it also has massive amounts of blocky, concrete architecture of the 60s and 70s as well as plenty of Art Deco. This more common architecture is what sets the stage for the Magical Realism I paint. As the series progresses, I am increasing the amount of odd, slightly unlikely events occurring within the narratives. Animals and figures are becoming a more important part of the work, though they still inhabit and are informed by the surrounding architecture.

Baltimore Ruins

These paintings describe the distraught structures of Baltimore and how the city's spirit is echoed in the bricks, patches, cracks, and boarded up windows. I was not really trying to make a statement about poverty or about city governance, rather I wanted to show how the people of the city and the buildings reflect each other, both in their beauty and their decay.

Sketchbook Paintings

This group of paintings started in my sketchbook and is my newest work. They are combinations from parks, hospitals, baseball fields, and other places I have been. I simply sit and draw what I see, for a limited time, then move to what comes next. I try and keep the sketches moving at the same speed as my perception and experience of the world.
After sketching, I have simply drawn them much larger, on canvas, and painted them. I work quickly and instinctively with the paint, forcing a resolution, usually within one sitting.

Fantasy, Surreal, and Subterfuge

This is a collection of works that form the backbone of my artistic practice. From my earliest paintings and drawings, I have been enamored with dream logic, animal/ human hybrids, tragic comedy, social misfits, and the complexity of expressing sexuality.

Watercolors

This project was part of a summer challenge. I would paint 50 watercolors by summer's end. I knew, going at this pace (about 1 a day) only a few of them would be any good. I've included 10 that I consider acceptable.
I used a range of source material, from fashion magazines to objects I had around the studio, to imagination and memory. The pacing of the project was the most fun aspect-- forcing myself to make a new painting with different subject matter nearly every day.

Art History Kaleidoscopes

These 4 projects are of course rooted in Art History. Thus far I have worked with four artists, with the intention of eventually working from each of the major eras of Western Art History. Obviously the project is yet to be completed. The four I have completed are Giotto, Fragonard, Beckmann, and in the contemporary realm, Hirst.
Each kaleidoscope is a painted "collage" of a combination of the artists work, forming a kaleidoscopic face. For each of the artists I have done a reasonable amount of research, determining the artists actual colors, brushes, and methods of paint application. When possible, I have tried to imitate their methods.