While contemplating the moon, this figure, based on an ancient Greek hero statue, finds solace, resilience and inner strength in the midst of a bleak and perplexing environment.
This trio of figures are based on classical Greek Kouros statues. Each persona features its own collaged skin, one with bits of English newsprint, another with dripped house paint that suggests a skeleton and a third with lines of Classical Chinese poetry. The figures are elongated to evoke an airy, dream-like state. They stand in a field of erratic pencil marks that allude to sketches by Henry Moore, the mid-century sculptor who reduced the human form to abstract essences.
Man Disguised As Spirit
This figure is based on the classical Greek Kouros statue of a hero and is covered with Japanese paper embedded with tiny leaves. The title refers to the initiation rite of a South American Indigenous tribe in which elders dress up as spirits by covering their bodies with paint, leaves, and fibrous hats.
Something In The Way
These figures are based on ancient Greek statues, each covered with collage material to differentiate the individual from the group. One made of Fred Myers ads, another with Japanese anime and a third with newsprint. Diversity in unity. The three figures stand fearless in an intense indigo scene suggesting the transition to dawn or twilight.
This ironic figure is based on an image of a woman being scanned during early airport x-ray screening. Her arms are spread to her sides to permit the radiation full access to her body. Inside her body is a basketball player and basketballs surround her. The figure resides inside another x-ray scan of a human torso. The title is a comment on our acceptance of invasive technology. The TSA agents look on this person’s body as they might watch an athletic game.
Come Now Fair and Tender Ladies
These figures are based on mid-century statues from the Bay Area Art Movement. The discordant colors of the central figure contrasts with her companions who take a classic pose. The shadowy outlines of the figures tie the composition together, calling into question if our shadows are more real than our physical bodies. The title is taken from the folk song warning young women of sexual exploitation by men.
The Way You Look Tonight
This collage is an abstract expressionist interpretation of the classical three graces. The women dance in a field embedded with the lyrics of the Frank Sinatra love song.
Set Fire To The Rain
This body of this figure is filled with corporate logos, making a comment on how commercialism affects identity. His arms are stretched across a field made of spray plaster with a sunburst (or nuclear explosion?) above and seeming rain falling all around. The title is taken from a pop rock music song.
This figure assumes the pose as a crucified man and, at the same time, a swimmer jumping from a diving board. The personage is plunging into death or water — perhaps to resurface and be reborn.
This cubist figure is based on mid-century designs (similar to designs by Afro Basaldella and Arshlie Gorky) and is made of collaged tissue and newspapers. His kaleidoscopic eye is a dollar sign. The viewer wonders if the text in his body have a deeper meaning.
Gary (GJ) Gillespie. The cultural and natural world of the American northwest inspires my art. Living near Seattle and Redmond, Washington State exposes me to the creative trends of the world’s most innovative minds. My art is a response to this rich social and spiritual environment.
The abstract expressionist masters who produced haunting images from this region are constant inspirations. Northwest artists Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, Emily Carr and Paul Horiuchi are favorites. I am influenced by Hans Hoffman and Ashile Gorky.
My figurative work draws from surrealism, indigenous art, ancient Greece, cave paintings as well as art history.
The artists I admire tap unconscious feelings of longing for existential meaning that emerge from cultural icons. In my view, abstraction should be more than pleasing design. Instead, art should evoke connotations that permit the viewer to experience a sense of wonder, awe and new perspectives of being.
In addition to art making I also market a private label sketchbook on Amazon through my company Leda Arts.
Check out his blog.