‘Oh What A World!’ by Gregory Ferrand
Artist: Gregory Ferrand
Title: ‘Oh What A World!’
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Dimensions: 20” x 20”
Year of Creation: 2018
About the Artwork:
“I’m a father of two boys. Being responsible for them is humbling, exciting, and terrifying. More than anything I hope to stand out of their way as they grow and learn, to support them as they go out into the world, and to let them know that home is a refuge if they need it.
As I worked on this painting, both the national and international political climate weighed heavily on my mind.” – Gregory Ferrand
About the Artist:
Gregory Ferrand received a degree in film from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997 and promptly headed off to Buenos Aires, Argentina to teach English to business people. While living there he kept an illustrated journal in which he experimented with different media and recorded his observations about the culture and people around him. In doing so, he came to understand two things about himself: 1). that he was a painter and 2). that he was fascinated by the subtext of human interactions. He returned to the States in early 2000 and began painting seriously.
Gregory pulls on influences as wide ranging as comics, Mexican muralists, and 1950’s fashion to create paintings that reveal the beauty of living. His background in film is evident in the strong use of narrative he employs to tell stories about characters and situations that do, have, and will exist; gently unmasking the psychological or emotional state of the subject, inviting the viewer to share and/or identify.
Gregory has shown at the Adah Rose Gallery, Hillyer IA and A, the McLean Project for the Arts, the Joan Hisoaka Healing Arts Gallery, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Art Whino, Artomatic and the DCAC. Clients include Saatchi and Saatchi, American Airlines, Cava Mezze Restaurants, and the Mosaic Theater Company of Washington, DC among others.
My most recent work explores the feeling and reality of being disconnected and alienated (which results in multiple personal realities), despite and sometimes because of the close proximity in which we live to one and other.
It is ironic that we, as innately social animals, often struggle to feel connected with friends, family, our communities, society, and the world at large. To overcome this, we set aside our basic instincts and learned biases in order to be “open.” We hope, by doing so, to form a connection, so that we can reassure ourselves that we are not alone, that we share the same reality with someone else.
But “What is reality?” and “What is the truth?”
These questions, in regards to the human experience, are questions that have long informed the work that I create. My paintings do not provide the answers to these questions. Instead they are invitations for the viewer to enter the narrative, armed with their own understanding of the world, in order to have an authentic moment to share, identify with, and to find the answer(s) to these questions for themselves.
In this day and age when it can feel impossible to understand how our neighbor could raise their children the way they do, how they could behave the way they do, how they could vote the way they do, it is incumbent upon us to reflect on the realities we construct that make us different, and also try to see how, by just being human, we are the same.