Gregory Vernitsky.JPG

gregory Vernitsky

Born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1953, Gregory started making oil painting and clay sculpture in 1967.  Attended Artist Studios and Workshops and graduated from National Marine University, Odessa, Ukraine in 1975; worked as Marine and Mechanical Engineer at different companies in Odessa and in Bay Area.  From 1097 until 1991, Gregory focused on oil paintings, murals, theatrical stage sets and costumes, clay and wood sculpture. After emigrating to the United States in 1991, Gregory moved to San Francisco where he continued to make paintings and sculptures. In 2011, he became a member of ArtSpan and started showcasing his work through their Open Studios program. Gregory showed his art during Castro/Mission's Fall Open Studios in 2016.


Gregory Vernitsky

(Interviewed by Wolfram Alderson, on behalf of Spark Arts, San Francisco)

At what moment did you realize you are an Artist?
At 15 - after making a first drawing

Was there someone in your life who provided special encouragement for you to be an artist?

Who and what are your most important artistic influences?
Barlach, Van Gogh

What attracted you to showing your work in a community gallery space like Spark Arts?
Like people of this gallery, needed space to show

What medium(s) do you work in?
Sculpture, assemblage

Why do like to work in these mediums?
Love to recycle, use found objects

Describe your body of work.
Play with time and memory in found and carved wood.  Plus bits of plastic, metal wire and paint.  Wall and free standing

What is the zeitgeist or central theme or ideas behind your work?
Past, freedom, waiting - no particular theme.

What can you say about being an artist in the world today?
It is as hard as it always been

Do you see yourself and your work in any particular social, cultural, or political context?
I am newcomer, appropriator and recycler.  And I am not apologizing. 

In the current highly polarized and unstable political climate, do see any special role for the artist? ...or is simply making art - making relevance, or does relevance or context even matter to you - e.g., art is what it is and doesn’t interpretation or context?  
Just tend your own garden.  Unless you have something fresh and important to say.

Spark Arts hosts many artists who are coming out or revealing their work at an early or critical stage in their career. What can you say to artists who are struggling with idea of even being an artist or moving their art into a public domain?
Do not be afraid - people are surprisingly honest.

What can you say to young people who are just beginning to explore their creativity, but might be lacking encouragement or confidence to take it to another level, to pursue a life as an artist?  
Give it a try.  Do not wait to be a late bloomer.

Anything else you want to share?
Do not be stingy with love (and likes).