GREG HERGERT paintings
Between Pottstown, Pennsylvania and Oregon
I was born in 1952 in Corvallis Oregon and have been an artist my entire life and earned a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design where I majored in Illustration.
I was very fortunate after graduation to have a neighbor who was a major illustrator who mentored me and got me off to a great start as a successful illustrator which was helped by the fact that I could take a short train ride into Manhattan, which was the center of the publishing industry.
After presigious jobs and awards life has a way of implemeting changes and I began a gradual shift to a fine art career which was perfectly timed with the growth of the internet.
Currently I show my work around the world and have learned to make art which has no language or culture limitations in this world which has gone global. It is said that pictures speak thousands of words and I strive to make art that speaks to the entire world.
Enjoy these excerpts from an interview with Richard Mullins of Blah Blah Gallery....
While my father was earning his doctorate at Oregon State I was born in 1952. In a rough and tumble logging town at the base of the Olympic mountains I grew up trout fishing, wandering in the woods, and occasionally making artwork. After my father was transferred to NYC I met kids who took art seriously. Currently I have a giant basement studio in Pottstown Pennsylvania. Unfortunately because I'm a packrat,collector,gatherer of the obscure,and chaotic piler, sometimes the only place to draw is with a sketch pad on my lap.
Because I wasn't willing to trade freedom for success I've always been on the fringe. I nursed my mom who had Alzheimers until her death last year (2007). Due to the stress, I suffered from a reccuring nightmare,which was watching helplessly as my art was hauled off in a dumpster. Yet,even though I'm on a mission to stay out of the landfill,I cling to the freedom to make whatever I want possibly at the expense of success.
A famous illustrator lived near me in New Jersey and took me under his wing and taught me the tricks of the illustration trade. He photographed with a 4x5 polariod camera,shooting reference pictures for every element in his illustrations. My assignment one week was to find a girl and convince her to let me photograph her nude for an illustration. Sweating bullets I asked a girl at my part-time job and much to my surprise she agreed. Trying to be professional I snapped pictures as she stripped and then shot various Playboy style poses. Proudly I brought my photos to my mentor and he looked at them with no real expression,then he said "let me borrow these"...I never saw them again!
One summer I scrounged through my neighbors trash looking for collage materials. Soon I was learning their darkest secerts and scotch taping them to my drawings like voodoo portraits. Later that Fall the first book about Joseph Cornell was published and I discovered the supreme master, the scrounger,the assembler, and weaver of
mystery from the ordinary. I stacked my drawings,wrapped them with brown paper, tied them with string, and didn't look at them again for twenty years.
The band Madams video production company Mdoll has a stylized octopus logo.They wanted my artwork in their latest video. On the upper east side of Manhattan I would see these rich ladies walking their little dogs and I always enjoyed watching them bend over and scoop up a fresh steaming turd. So in my painting 'Navy' a rich octopus dressed in nautical is out shopping and walking her little cuddlefish which squirts some ink on the hydrant. Since there's women in the band I deleted the steaming turd!
Miss Harvey my fifth grade teacher wore tight skirts, pointy pumps, and nylons with seams. One night sitting in my bed,with knowledge gleaned from the Sears catalogue, I drew her removing an article of clothing with each drawing.
I live in this old mansion in Pennslyvania. The man who built it died in the house two years after it was finished. The previous owner was convinced the house was haunted but I don't believe in the supernatural. Late one night, while alone in the house working in my basement studio I heard someone walk across the hardwood floor of the dining room above me. With my heart racing I grabbed a weapon and crepted upstairs fearing an encounter with a burglar. I checked every room,closet, and hiding space as well as every door and window...nothing! I believe in the power of the imagination to make things real which is the greatest gift of the artist. Witches are my favorite theme in autumn. Feminism hijacked witchcraft and reduced it to a legitimate religion. By hyper-sexualizing witches I'm attempting to restore them to the pantheon of imagination and horror.
I was hitchhiking around America when I joined this Christian group called Youth with a Mission. That Spring a bunch of us went to Russia to protest in Red Square their lack of religious freedom.On May Day morning just outside of Moscow a flatbed truck flanked by machine gun toting soldiers blocked the road.They pulled us from our vehicles and linedus up. I stood there imagining being gunned down and stacked on the truck. Eventually a black sedan arrives and out come some KGB types who photographed and interrogated each one of us while demanding to know who was behind this plot to shame the Soviet Union!
THE WOLF FINE ART is pleased to present the works of Gregory Hergert. for more information on the artist or his work please contact us today.
Rhode Island School of Design
" I stacked my drawings,wrapped them with brown paper, tied them with string, and didn't look at them again for twenty years."