Dec 06, 2012 06:55AM ● Published by Style
Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Artists often try their hand at more conventional careers before giving in to the driving need to create.
Greg Fisher, mixed media artist and owner of Gallery Impasto in Folsom, is no stranger to the challenges that come with giving up the status quo to take a road less traveled.
Fisher spent his youth learning the contractor trade from his father, satisfying his creative side by exploring artistic approaches to tile work and the like. Though not a classically trained artist, Fisher dabbled in the subject, taking classes in high school and college; instead, he pushed himself to be practical, earning a degree in business management to further his career as a contractor. Although building houses lent itself to a certain amount of artistry, the time eventually came when he could no longer deny his calling.
It’s been nearly five years since Fisher took the leap and became a full-time artist, a change that included the opening of his own studio and showroom, Gallery Impasto. “It was a matter of being in construction and not being able to express myself,” he explains when asked what prompted the move. “There isn’t much ability to express yourself when you’re nailing boards to a wall,” he says.
Being immersed in various construction materials for so much of his life, Fisher’s work is an intriguing mix of unusual materials often used in construction, such as roofing tar, tile glue and paints. “The look of [roofing tar] is so much more pure than oil paints,” he says. Fisher’s paintings take rather dichotomous themes, either celebrating the freedom of form in abstract works or following the more constrained shapes necessary to create true-to-life portraits.
Though much of his time is spent on portrait work of both celebrities and every day individuals, it’s Fisher’s abstract pieces that tend to carry a heavy dose of emotion. “As far as my abstract work goes, there’s a lot of meaning in it for me, but I want people to look at it and interpret it for themselves,” he says. Careful to avoid outside influences, he’s intensely focused on originality – so much so that he doesn’t allow prints to be made of his work. He believes every piece is unique and not meant to be reproduced or replicated.
In Fisher’s most recent works, he’s transitioned into intensifying his use of color, moving in new directions with his abstract pieces. Currently, he’s developing a yet-to-be named collection, which reflects on many experiences from his past. They all have elements of an overarching theme he describes as “keeping freedom” – a statement that’s as equally personal as it is political. He says, “At the end of the day, I think putting a message out through your work is what it’s all about."
For more information, visit galleryimpasto.com.