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 Gary Grier  (1976 - )

About: Gary Grier


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Lived/Active: South Carolina/Florida      Known for: portrait painting, African-American subjects

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Biography from a third party submitted on 02/16/2007:
The following is from the artist and was updated February 2011:

"I am originally from Jacksonville, Florida.  There I attended the magnet art high school, Douglas Anderson.  After graduating I furthered my education for three years at the Savannah Branch of the School of Visual Arts.  In the fall of 1998 I ventured off to New York City to finish my last year of schooling.  There in 1999 I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  I also did commission painting.  My first commission was a portrait for Sean “ P-Diddy” Combs.  I worked in the studio of pop artist Jeff Koons and worked as a background animation painter for animator Bill Plympton  and illustrated a childrens book , Don't Hit Me.

What I try to convey through my paintings is feeling and emotion, with a sense of spirituality and pure honesty.  My images are derived from personal experiences, capturing the essence of life as seen through eyes.  By bringing a drama to the ordinary, ordinary people and the normally overlooked, I keep in line with the spirit of 19th century painters such as Edgar Degas and Gustave Courbet.

Of my work, Federico Anderson, wrote in Red Clay Arts, "Descent of the Abiku" 2001 New York City:

“In the work of Gary Grier, the viewer is exposed to the 'present' in vivid detail.  His paintings are snapshots of life, stripped of social facades.  His subjects are immersed in the business of living.  The universal appeal of his work is evident in the diversity and variety of venues in which it has been exhibited.  From the Jacksonville Art Museum, to St. Petersburg, Russia, (as well as several private collections) -- his examination of common themes speak to every individual, regardless of culture or background. Through his use of light and color, Grier explores the images of the every-day, revealing the layers of complexity present in daily events.”

Grier was the 2007 grant recipient of Coastal Community Foundation through their Griffith Visual Arts Fund.  He was their designee as the 2007 Lowcountry Artist of the Year.  He was  also named an Emerging Artists in the Winter 07 edition of Art & Antiques' Collectors Sourcebook magazine.

Grier has had solo exhibiton at The Greenville County Musuem of Art  where they have 3 of his paintings currently in their permanent collection of southern art.

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