Listen to the artist:

Gregory Rick started in St. Cloud Minnesota, lived there roughly until Rick’s father went to prison when he was seven. Now Rick sees his fathers time in prison as the direct result of fighting in Vietnam, at the time was devastatingly perplexing. The artist spent his early formative years in Minneapolis. From an early age he also found the bookshelf as a place of refuge through which he found a historical imagination, redrawing the scenes he was reading about and viewing in photos. The bookshelf full of my mothers social justice books and both Rick’s mother and fathers history books helped Rick transcend the chaotic nature of early years as the artist delved deep into thinking about history and Rick’s place within it. Art and Social Studies were the only classes that the artist excelled at. Rick found an accessible art all around him in the form of graffiti. Graffiti ultimately led to halls of justice, where district attorney Amy Klobuchar prosecuted the artist to the full extent of the law. Trying to dodge probation and the cold Minnesota winters, started to travel central America and Mexico was where he brought in the millennium and Mexico where he saw Orozco. Klobuchar was later to forgive the artist’s felony for an enlistment in the army, signing him away to the Army. He Fought with the 101st Airborne in Iraq from 2005 (Father died in 2005) until 2006 and was Honorably discharged in 2007. Rick’s mother also died in 2007, which was to leave a hole in Rick, he became homeless trying to fill that hole. After coming to California for a second time, he decided to pursue his life long passion for art and earned a BFA from CCA in painting and now attends Stanford for an MFA. Rick describes art as: literally saved my life and allowed me to cope through so much, all of which I insert in my work.

To learn more about Gregory’s work please visit their website or visit their Instagram
View the exhibition catalogue

Curator
Kevin B. Chen

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