Q&A : Greg Gossel

 

How did you get started as an artist? What's been the most exciting thing that has happened thus far in your career?

I went to school for graphic design. After I graduated I got a job as a designer at a small shop in Minneapolis and continued doing my own personal studio work from home on the side. My focus shifted more and more to my studio work until I was able to make the jump to a full time artist.

I've been fortunate to have a number of great opportunities. I'm currently in Japan working on a large scale installation which has definitely been one of the most exciting experiences of my career. A couple others that come to mind include creating a 60ft mural on the facade of the Aqua Art Fair in Miami for Art Basel in 2009, and more recently being invited to participate in my first museum exhibit next year at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana.

 

"You Think?" (Red)

"You Think?" (Red)

Can you tell us about some of the themes that show up in your work?

A lot of the content and themes in my work are rooted in popular culture. I've always been drawn to the bold aesthetics and exaggerated narratives in old comics, pulp novels, advertising, and tabloids. Those fragmented elements often show up in my work placed within a new context.


Where do you draw inspiration from? Certain places etc..

I find inspiration in a variety of places, often the decay and deterioration of the urban environment. Fading signage, torn billboards, old street posters, and chipping paint; I've always been interested in those moments where man-made objects succumb to the inevitable effects of nature. I try to reflect those textures and spontaneous juxtapositions within the process of my own work.


If you could meet one artist from past or present who would it be?

I'd have to say Robert Rauschenberg. Seeing his work for the first time is what inspired me to push my own work as an artist.


If you could have one superhero (magical) power, what would it be and why?

Not much for personal superpowers, but Superman's flying ability would be cool.


What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

My grandpa said anything worth doing is worth doing right.


Mixtape: 8 songs you're listening to in your studio or wherever

Beastie Boys - Jimmy James

Chuck Berry - Thirty Days

Led Zepplin - Good Times Bad Times

Tame Impala - The Less I Know The Better

James Brown - Try Me

A Tribe Called Quest - Jazz (We've Got)

The Stooges - Down On The Street

Jamie xx - I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)