Gregory Scott has always blurred the lines between painting and photography, incorporating paintings he made of himself, or his body, back into his photographs. The resulting images were both humorous and odd, challenging the viewer’s perception of photographic truth. Then, at the age of 49, Scott decided to go to graduate school to strengthen his knowledge of art history and study video editing. In 2008, upon graduation, Gregory Scott stunned the art world with his mixed-media video works that combined installation, photography, performance, video and painting. As more and more artists blur the lines between media, Scott has taken the idea to a whole new level, presenting video-based wall pieces that are humorous and poignant, contemplative yet accessible.
Gregory Scott builds sets in his studio that serve as his subject. In these sets, he records himself performing a variety of scenarios that are then edited into 6-10 minute videos. The sets are then photographed, and the resulting wall piece is a mounted photograph with a cut out for a monitor on which a video plays, and a painted element appears on the photographic surface. In each video, he shows how he constructed the set that he photographed, breaking down the barrier between maker and viewer. All of the hardware is attached to the inside of the frame, making his works self-contained.
Continuing to use himself as the model, Scott creates narrative pieces that reference specific artists (Mark Rothko, James Turrell, Cy Twombly, Frank Stella) that have had an impact on his life. Using illusion and surprise, he challenges the definitions placed on photography, painting and video, expanding its discourse and creating a dialogue with the viewer. This dialogue can be seen inWarholian, which shows a photograph of a framed “painting” hanging in a gallery. The painting quickly reveals itself to be a video, showing the artist making his own Warhols, including a silkscreened Marilyn who gets up and walks out of the frame, and a Campbell’s soup can that tips over, pouring out blue paint. In his newest piece, Half Dome, Scott built a model of Yosemite in his studio, referencing Ansel Adams and the beautiful landscape he made famous. In Don’t Fade Away, he disappears into walls and staircases, referencing the work of Lui Bolin. Gregory Scott is a gifted painter, photographer, narrator and video editor, who creates clever narratives that challenge the viewers’ perception of art and the many ways it can be presented.
“What if” is a good question. What if I was taller? Or fatter? Would that make me different inside? What if I was five years old? What if my body was female, or a horse, or a bird? What if the room I’m in is an illusion and the picture hanging on the wall is real? As delightful as curious exploration may be, there is something else that drives me. I want to capture the emotional states that we all have as humans; emotions such as laughter, loneliness, futility, desire, insecurity, confusion, and play. And especially moments of being that elude verbal description. How does humor make sadness more poignant? Or sadness give humor more depth? How can loneliness be so starkly personal and yet utterly universal? And why does “serious” art have to be so, well, serious? I attempt to accomplish three goals with my artwork: for it to be engaging, meaningful, and accessible. To accomplish this I build in multiple layers of interpretation. To make it engaging I explore elements of trompe l’oeil, illusions, and altered realities to entice the viewer into paying attention. At the same time these techniques explore our perceptions of what is “real.” Is a photograph more real than a painting? Is video more real even though it is low resolution? Rather than enter the well-worn discourse on photographic truthfulness, I’m more interested in the tendency for people to be convinced by an obviously manufactured fantasy.” – Gregory Scott
“By placing a video into a photograph of a frame in a gallery setting, I try to examine the conventions of art and its relevance and value in today’s world. The inherent strengths and weaknesses of each of the different media are exposed by their juxtaposition. The juxtaposition also compromises each of the media. Paintings are cut into sections, photographs are reduced to serving as backgrounds, and the video is surrounded by media that exposes its shortcomings in depicting detail, color, and tone.
In each piece, I act out moments of human emotional existence that are sometimes humorous and other times poignant. Whatever the mood, the human element provides a personal connection for the viewer. For me this is what makes the work meaningful, and where the real value lies.
Finally, it is important to me that the work be accessible. Contemporary art often obscures its intent or simply fails to communicate. I want anybody, regardless of their art knowledge or appreciation, to get something out of their experience when they see the work.
By placing a video into a photograph of a frame in a gallery setting, I try to examine the conventions of art and its relevance and value in today’s world. The inherent strengths and weaknesses of each of the different media are exposed by their juxtaposition. The juxtaposition also compromises each of the media. Paintings are cut into sections, photographs are reduced to serving as backgrounds, and the video is surrounded by media that exposes its shortcomings in depicting detail, color, and tone.” – Gregory Scott
Catherine Edelman Gallery is pleased to present new mixed-media video works by Gregory Scott, in his second solo exhibition at the gallery. “Gregory Scott: In Still Motion” opens September 5 and runs through November 1, 2014.
There will be an opening reception with the artist on Friday, September 5, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and an artist talk in the gallery on Saturday, September 6 at noon.
- via edelmangallery.com; angelikapiwowarczyk.com,