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Tag Archives: Gregory Prestegord
We are excited to show the work of so many of our wonderful artists this month. The show includes works by Gregory Prestegord, Serge Zhukov, Jesse J. Gardner, Charles Newman and Joshua Koffman. Also new paintings by Claire Haik, Kate Kern Mundie, Neil Berger, and David Bottini.
The show features figurative sculpture by Joshua Koffman. Urban landscapes by Neil Berger, Kate Kern Mundie, Jesse J. Gardner, and Gregory Prestegord. Winter landscape by Serge Zhukov. Still life and landscape paintings by Charles Newman. Rural landscapes by David Bottini and Claire Haik.
New Year Group Exhibition
Paintings, Sculpture and Works on Paper
January 4 – 26, 2013
Opening Reception January 4, 5 to 9 PM
Featuring the work of Neil Berger, Rick Buttari, Claire Haik, Joshua Koffman, Tezh Modarressi, Kate Kern Mundie, Gregory Prestegord, Serge Zhukov
Gregory Prestegord’s paintings capture the noise of an urban atmosphere, the movement of a city that does not sleep; sun baked ball fields, rain on steel and glass and all the grit and glory that is urban living. Gregory explores Philadelphia, his home town, through energetic paint splashed and brushed on panels. His work bridges between traditional “Philadelphia Academy” style and neo-expressionism and abstraction.
I asked Gregory if I could talk to him about his work for F.A.N.’s blog. Gregory said, “I’m an urban painter. There’s not much more to it.” While he may see it as just painting, his work connects to Philadelphians and their love of this city. Gregory is an energetic painter. He reminds me of some of the great painters of the last century in his physicality, energy, and fearlessness. He is an urban painter who captures the feel of a city’s time and spaces. Gregory’s work is like Dutch genre painting of the 17th century mixed with a little neo-expressionistic graffiti style of the 1980s.
Gregory does not cite any particularly influences but feels, “There were a few artists who really captured the period they lived in. So I can’t say I’m influenced by one artist more than by all the great artists of their period. Some were better at capturing the feeling of their time. My work is very gritty it reflects my life and what I find to be interesting subjects that others can relate to.” Gregory’s paintings distort and abstract reality as he tries to portray the grittiness of Philadelphia. Within his energetic paintings he makes room for the viewer to find places of rest in the visual cacophony, “I’m mixing more abstraction with reality trying to create a space for the viewer to be calm in. I’d like people to look beyond the surface of the painting and just enjoy the feeling of it; the light the texture and the chaotic process. It’s like nature is anyway.”
Gregory was trained formally at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. “I was doing everything– cast drawing, figure painting, but I went my own route, into the streets, while others were in class I was outside working. I was bored of the everyday still life setups and the models posing. I felt that was very boring after a while. If I wanted to make a career out of this I needed to get outside and work on the street. So I did. I would paint in alleyways and street corners. I was inspired to paint my city not some pretty park or rich street corner, or vase of flowers. I was inspired by the grittiness of things around me. That was life to me and I think it’s a way of remembering the past.”
Besides his painting, Gregory study’s capoeira, a Brazilian art form that combines dance, music, gymnastics, and martial arts. I asked him if studying capoeira influences the way he paints or if it helped him to focus on his work or was a way to recharge and be a part of a group after the isolation of working in the studio. Gregory said, “Capoeira helps with both focus and getting out of the studio, but all old forms of exercise help by shaping the mind. Yoga, biking, tai chi, capoeira, swimming, running – any of these types of group activities change your perception of the world and can reshape your artistic mind. Being an artist is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is after you sell a painting. I don’t mean that as a joke but when someone buys a painting you know you’ve inspired and connected to someone (and made some money to get through the month). Painting is like mediation. You are alone with your thoughts or trying to get away from your thoughts. You are a prisoner in your own mind in a way. You never know if your painting will connect to someone. A couple of years ago I worked with prisoners teaching art to inmates. I felt a sense of camaraderie, I understood their isolation.”
I always enjoy talking to Gregory. He is upbeat and full of energy. He told me, “This past year has been one of the most successful years of my life and I only can pray that it continues. But that can change fast. I would say to people, ‘If you think artists have an easy life, think again.’”
USArtists is the nation’s premier American art event. Many of the country’s
finest art dealers exhibit and sell an extraordinarily rich and diverse collection
of 18th- through 21st-century American art.
This will be F.A.N. Gallery’s 19th year exhibiting at USArtists American Fine Art Show & Sale. Please come and share in a selection of new paintings, sculpture and works on paper by David Bottini, Rick Buttari, Lesa Chittenden Lim, Al Gury, Robert Heilman, Tezh Modarressi, Kate Kern Mundie, Gregory Prestegord, Carlo Russo, Kathleen Weber, Serge Zhukov, and others.
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, September 23-25, 2011
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts | Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building
Opening Night Preview Gala: Thursday, September 22
New Collectors Night: Friday, September 23
Friday and Saturday, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
PAFA members & children under 12 are free!
General Admission: $15 pp
Seniors & Students with ID: $12 pp
Groups of 6 or more: $12 pp
Benefits of Admission: Receive one full-color show catalog, unlimited entry to USArtists 2011 and one free admission to PAFA valid until October 2012.
Receive a $3 discount on a full price admission ticket when you purchase online.
All proceeds from USArtists directly benefit student scholarships
at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
I have to single out a painting from the August show by Gregory Prestegord. It is a fantastic urban landscape depicting the Reading Viaduct. This abandoned train trestle has been inspiration to many Philadelphia artists. It also reminds me of other great urban train related paintings like John Sloan’s. Unfortunately for you the painting has been sold.
I am looking forward to Kathleen Weber’s exhibition in September. This will be her first solo exhibition at F.A.N. I will posting an interview with her later this month. You can read more about her now at her blog. http://weberstudio.blogspot.com
September 2 to October 1
I am a little behind in my movie watching. I finally saw “How Do You Know” written and directed by James L. Brooks. It was a cute romantic comedy staring Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson. The real reason I watched is one of mine and some of the other F. A. N. artist’s paintings are in the movie.
Production for the movie started in the summer of 2009. The movie was filmed in Philadelphia and D.C. During that time a “How Do You Know” production staff member came into F.A.N. Gallery looking for paintings of Philadelphia scenes. They rented paintings from the artists Treacy Ziegler, Al Gury, Tezh Modarressi, Gregory Prestegord, and Kate Kern Mundie. The paintings were used in developing the look and feel of the office and home of the character George, portrayed by Paul Rudd. On the DVD, you can see the paintings in chapters 2 and 3 in George’s office and in his home at the beginning of the movie.
I don’t think I have ever watched a movie that closely for set design before. The paintings were hard to pick out unless you knew what you were looking for, but it was still exciting to see my painting and the paintings of friends and peers.