An Interview with artist Paul Greco

Infinite Space

Infinite Space is the title for Paul Greco’s solo show at Upstream Gallery in Hastings on Hudson New York (through Sunday, April 15th). Paul is a gallery artist at Upstream and this is his 8thsolo exhibition. Also showing is Cecily A. Spitzer, with abstract paintings on paper and canvas. Visit Upstream Gallery (Thursday – Sunday, 12:30-5:30) at 8 Main Street, Hastings on Hudson, NY. Paul’s exhibit includes painted metal fragments combined as diptychs and triptychs on white backgrounds. The exhibit also includes a wall installation with multiple individual fragments, a very large 3-panel abstract painting on canvas with fabric, paint, and collaged newspaper clippings about UFO sightings, a ceiling–hung mobile and a stabile (sculpture) on a pedestal made with wood, string and found metal.

 

I am fascinated with Paul’s passion for finding discarded metal fragments on the highway and turning the fragments into art. Almost every work on exhibit is made with found metal fragments. Paul calls them SCFs (space craft fragments). The work seen below is titled Quetzalcoatl (SCF Diptych #2). It’s 15×30 inches (framed) and made with 2 found metal pieces on a white background. Paul painted the metal fragments with black and white acrylic in multiple paint layers. He didn’t alter either of the two metal pieces, but, notice how the image looks as if both pieces were cut to match. None of the metal was cut.

 

Paul Greco, Quetzalcoatl SCF Diptych #2, painted metal, 15×30 inches

 

I asked Paul if he is interested in mythology. Paul says he’s interested in the unknown and the unseen reality all around us. He is fascinated with UFOs and crop circles. He visited fourteen Crop Circles in 2008 in Wiltshire England and said it was an amazing experience. Quetzalcoatl (pron. Quet-zal-co-at) was one of the most important gods in ancient Mesoamerica. Known as the plumed Serpent, he is a mix of bird and rattle snake. Quetzalcoatl was regarded as the god of winds and rain and as the creator of the world and mankind. Read more here.

 

Paul Greco, ET Buddha, found metal

 

The image seen nearby is titled ET Buddha, and is constructed with painted metal, organized on a framed white background. The body is holey.  The image below is titled 96 Tears (SCF #96). It’s 21×27 inches. Notice the yellow line in the middle of the metal. Paul says a road crew painted the line – paying no attention to the metal lying in the middle of the road. Paul painted his signature abstract designs in black and white acrylic over the metal and the yellow line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Greco, 96 Tears, found metal, acrylic paint

 

I asked Paul how he finds his metal fragments. He said he stops whenever and wherever he sees flattened metal on the highway anywhere in the Metro New York area. Between 1993 and 1998, Paul found 51 pieces that became his first series of signature found metal shapes. Between 2015 and 2018, he collected a second series with 115 pieces.

 

I asked if he’s ever left a fragment on the road. He said he’s left fragments if they are not “right.” If he likes the fragment he usually gets an idea for how to work with it – for example – which side of the metal to embellish with paint, but it takes a while to decide which pieces should go together. Paul paints symbols onto the found metal pieces. The SCFs range in size from very small to large.

 

 

Paul Greco with his mobile and stabile sculpture

 

The image here shows Paul standing near his mobile (Space Debris Mobile #3), and a new stabile (Space Debris Stabile #1). The mobile is made with string and acrylic on found metal, 26×36 inches. The stabile sculpture is made with string, acrylic on found metal, redwood cactus and bamboo, 8x16x25 inches.

A mobile is a type of kinetic (moving) sculpture made with rods and weighted objects that hang from the rods and balance each other.  A stabile is an abstract sculpture that is stationary.

On the back wall, behind the mobile,  is a painted metal wall piece titled SCF Grouping – Yellow Tail. Paul is leaning on the wall, near the work titled Down the Rabbit Hole: SCF Triptych #3.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Greco and his wall grouping with painted metal fragments.

 

The image here shows Paul standing near his wall installation with painted metal fragments. Each piece is unique (sold separately) and can be assembled in variable arrangements. I asked Paul if he plans to create a large wall installation because he’s collected and painted so many fragments. He said he’d like to do one with 80 pieces and fill an entire wall in the gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Greco, Confirmation, mixed media triptych painting, 48×108 inches

 

The image here is a triptych painting on 3 canvas panels (each 48×36 inches), total size is 48×108 inches.  Titled Confirmation, it’s mixed media with printed fabric, over-painted, transfer prints, and collaged newspaper clippings. The painting is an abstract design in white, black, blue and pink. Shapes are circles and ovals and the painting is space themed. The newspaper text (NY Times) is about UFOs.

 

 

 

 

I asked Paul about comments from people who visited the exhibit. He says people respond most to his new large triptych titled Confirmation – but also to the funny, funky portrait of his cat Tina. You’ll have to visit Upstream Gallery to see Portrait of Tina. There’s a lot to see. Read more about Upstream Gallery and, if you want to read more about Tina the cat, be sure to visit Paul’s Facebook Page.

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