“Art is the discipline of my life. I want to live long enough
to create something truly great.”
|After graduating from the University of Hartford / Hartford Art School in 1983 with a BFA, Gary
became a disciple of graphic design and has been a designer and art director both in New
York City and Dallas. Moving to Texas in 1990, he currently is Senior Art Director for FKM and
advertising agency in Dallas.
I learned I had HIV in 1987. There were many people in the same situation overtaken by
opportunistic diseases or simply give in to the weight of living with a virus that is essentially
a death sentence. I attribute my survival to the determination of my will. Denial is difficult,
as twice daily I must use viral inhibitors that seem to prolong my life. Over the past twenty
years I have learned to neutralize the physical side effects of the drugs and the emotional
side effects of the disease itself through various methods. One of them is to channel as much
of the mental fallout into my art as I can manage, each day. Art can be therapeutic, but I
prefer to think of it as a metaphysical journey I take each time I pick up a pencil,
brush or chisel.
|When I create, I intentionally release excess mental activity. As a painting unfolds, the colors
and patterns spread across the canvas like viruses or crystals. I imagine a healing process is
taking place as I encrust the canvas with brushstrokes and thus clear my mind of distractions
and attachments. The repetitive patterns of color that emerge are like the ever-present
vibrations that I equate both with my corporeal self and with my soul.
|There's no real mystery about the materials. Acrylic paint and gel medium to make it very thick
and glossy. The thing for me is encrusting the canvas with brushstrokes that have thick, defined
edges. The surface becomes like a skin on something more alien than any alligator. If my brush is
properly loaded, the contrasting colors will trail into one another and overlap in ways I find very
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|Translating compartmentalized thoughts into something that has its own visual existence, like
a painting or sculpture, is the essence of creativity. It is not enough for me to copy what I see
onto a canvas. What is most important to me is the manipulation of the medium in order to
capture what I see in when I am in a deep meditative state.
This consists of the light, color and rhythm in the darkness of my mind. What I see is a
concentration of all my thoughts, words, moods, emotions and memories. There is a
sensation of being vast as well as infinitesimally small, and this is what I strive to capture.
Marking the canvas in a repetitious manner and establishing rhythms with color allows
me access to the internal frequency that I equate with my higher consciousness.