Artist’s Statement & Bio
My paintings engage with a spiritual journey, the challenges of living in the modern world, and dreams that hover somewhere above the subconscious. Within these themes, there is conflict: chaos vs. enlightenment, epochs vs. creation, anxiety, materialism vs. spirituality, and social commentary.
For several years, I've had a persistent waking "dream." It begins with sleep paralysis, that is crushing and terrifying; however, if I allow myself to "fall" into the dread something strange occurs of varying degrees: I will hear a high-pitched sound, feel an intense vibration and "travel" through a colorful wormhole. Sometimes I find strange profound experiences on the other side. Maybe it's just a dream? Perhaps it's quantum mechanics? Or possibly it's just some undefinable part of our psyche that many artists have "channeled" through their work.
SPIRITUAL DECAY is a painting of a gold laughing Budha statue I bought a few years ago down in LA's Chinatown, and he is coming apart. The void around him is either forming or deforming, and the cerulean blue grids in the blackest parts of the paint come directly from one of my dreams.
In AGE OF ANXIETY AND BEAUTY, I attempted to capture my twenty-five-year-old subject's feelings and spiritual essence (as she posed many times over a month). I wanted to go beyond her flesh, and show her struggles to cope with her self-image and the stresses of coming of age in our hyperactive digital culture. All the shapes around her come from her emotions, derived from interviews I had with her over lengthy sittings.
In N. PELOSI'S MOUTH X7 there are seven anatomical size medical drawings of Nancy Pelosi's mouth painted on a six-foot by five-inch canvas. I find all the talking and hyper-analyzing on our news networks to be comically absurd, yet I can't get enough of it. The pundits and politicians drone on and on, so I repeated her mouth over and over. Coincidentally, I created the art-- before she became House Speaker.
I prefer to paint objects from life whenever possible without the aid of computers or digital manipulation. I mostly use acrylics, (I.e., plastic), reflecting the material of our modern age and vivid colors to go along with the apocalyptic overtones that can crop up in my work.
Through this series of paintings VIBRATION, I've untangled my subconscious phenomena, along with a side dose of some humor and social commentary.
Gregg Brown's background is in photography and the performing arts. From September 15th, 2001 – May 10th, 2002, he documented The World Trade Center terror attack devastation and recovery, nearly daily, from police helicopters captured on 35mm film. In 2011, a small portion of the archive of 30,000 photos made up one of five solo shows that was a significant museum exhibition at the International Center of Photography in New York on REMEMBERING 9/11. Gregg also hosted an avant-garde cable TV show in Manhattan where he recorded people reacting to strange objects hidden inside a refrigerator box on the streets, among other exploits. He's also played a variety of film, theater, and TV roles.
Unlike acting and photography, Gregg never formally studied drawing or painting, but he digs it. Gregg lives in Los Angeles.