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A Conversation with Greg Gossel

Greg Gossel has shown with both Gallery Three and Shooting Gallery, and on June 12, 2010 with Sleepwalking opening at White Walls, Greg will be the first artist to show at all three of Justin Giarla’s galleries.

Questioning how our visual culture has affected society thus far and how it will play out in the future, Sleepwalking will consist of over 30 mixed media works created through layers of collage, décollage, and silkscreen printing on wood panel or canvas. Inspired by the processes of Mimmo Rotella and Jacques Villegle, Gossel spontaneously builds up the layers while weathering the surface through staining, sanding and tearing to reveal the history beneath.

Between working on new works for his show with us, here at White Walls, creating pieces which will be in Looking East at Yves Laroche Gallery , and collaborating with Burlesque of North America, the ambitious artist has still managed to squeeze in some time to reflect:

Three words that describe your work?

How about ‘pop culture mash-up’… does that count as three words?

How’s the art scene in Minneapolis? Any plans to relocate?

It’s cool… it’s a little off the radar for most people but there’s a lot of great work being produced in Minneapolis. Yeah i enjoy it here, but am ready for a change of pace and have been kicking around the idea of moving out to the east coast later this summer.

If someone made a movie about your life, who would play you?

Ummm… how about Steve Buscemi

You’ve been to San Francisco many times for shows with Justin Giarla’s other galleries; The Shooting Gallery and Gallery Three.  What are your favorite places to visit when you’re here?

Well, usually when I’m in town for shows things are pretty hectic getting everything ready, so I generally don’t have much time to venture too far from the gallery… so I’d probably have to say Thai house next door is one of my most frequently visited spots while in town.

How does it feel to be the only artist represented by both White Walls and The Shooting Gallery?

That’s awesome… I’m honored

This is your first official solo show at White Walls; how will you utilize the space?

I’ll be showing a wide variety of pieces that range from fairly small pieces on wood to much larger canvases to try and take advantage of the variations in wall space throughout the gallery.

Most amazing place you have ever traveled?

I think I’d have to say Iceland… was only there for a few days but I always find myself wanting to go back.

What are you listening these days in the way of music?

Usually a pretty random mix from day to day… lately I guess I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff like Lou Reed, Sabbath, Bowie, The Cramps, The Stooges, and Pink Floyd along with maybe some Mf doom and Ghostface thrown in there…

What were your influences for Sleepwalking and what does the title of the show mean to you?

I’m continuing to explore themes from past work while also incorporating a lot of new ideas. I’ve always been influenced by the overload of visual stimuli we’re subject to on a daily basis and I think that’s reflected in the heavy layering and vivid color palette throughout this new body of work. The title of the show is in reference to an American culture in which we seem to sleepwalk through this constant visual bombardment, that though often ignored, inevitably creeps into our subconscious affecting the way we think and perceive the world around us.

If you were given a chance to travel back in time where would you go?

I think I’d have to say ancient Egypt

You work in both Graphic Design and Fine Art.  Can you draw any parallels and how do both worlds influence your work?

Yeah for sure… my design and fine art work always influence one another. I’m sure my work would look much different without my background in design.

Can you remember the first thing you ever drew and if so – what was it?

Ummm… I don’t think it was the first thing i ever drew, but I remember redrawing a lot of my favorite cartoons and a kid, stuff like the ninja turtles and transformers…

You’ve always been known for large-scale works.  What’s the biggest you’re going for this show?  Can we expect to see any installation work?

The largest piece I’ll be showing will be around 9′x12′… I’m planning on showing some larger pieces as opposed to creating an installation, but I’ll have to see how everything is coming together once I get to the gallery.

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