May 2, 2009
Interview With BOS Artist: Gregg Evans
**Gregg Evans will be showing his work at 175 Troutman St, #3R, alongside artist Christina Aceto**
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I graduated from Purchase College in 2005 with a degree in photography, and have been making zines, printing for group shows and spending too much money on records and photo books ever since. I grew up in Orange County, New York, and have lived in Greenpoint, Long Island City and Bushwick since officially moving to New York in 2005. I've called Bushwick my home for the past 2 years, and am still mourning the loss of Mackenzie Color. I'll be showing work with my friend Christina Aceto, who also went to Purchase for Photography.
What project(s) will you be showing during this year's Open Studios and Art Festival?
I'll be showing work from a series I've been shooting for the past year called Lucy Said: 'I don't get it.' And I said: 'Word'. For the project I've been photographing the basketball court and public park outside of my apartment from my bedroom/studio windows, focusing mainly on groups of people isolated from the larger crowds that gather in the park or on the streets. I'm interested in the sense of isolation one feels from the subjects in the images, and what that isolation means in terms of the gaze of the photographer and viewer. What does it mean to observe? Are we aiding in the neighborhood, as if an older person watching out for the neighbors, or are we imposing on the people in the space below?
What inspired this project?
Around the same time I began the project I started working for a well known nightlife and event photographer. Looking at the images he produces, one gets the feeling that you're looking through the eyes of someone who is part of the party, as if you're someone hanging out in the crowd. There's alot of photography out there that is intended to give a sense of intimacy through that kind of fly on the wall approach, which I think is sort of contrary to the nature of photography. I've always felt like the camera isolates you from the world around you instead of bringing you closer to it. I was watching Rear Window one night and was struck by how isolated Jimmy Stewart's character was from the people he shared his backyard with, and realized that must be a pretty common situation in many neighborhoods throughout New York. I think think the project escalated pretty quickly from that starting point, and I began to focus on the changing daily life that unfolded in front of me. It's become a bit of an obsession.
Any plans in the works?
My parents are moving away from the area I grew up in come June, so at the moment I'm photographing all of the things I've collected throughout the years that have remained at their house in the time they've been there. It's something that is still in it's very initial stages, but I'm really interested in work like Larry Sultan's Pictures From Home, Mitch Epstein's Family Business, and my friend Ryan Pfluger's project Not Without My Father right now. I think their work is great, though I work in a very different manner than all of them, so we'll see where things take me.
How long have you lived in Bushwick, and what initially drew you to the neighborhood?
I've lived in Bushwick for 2 years. I was initially attracted to the super cheap rent and the proximity to my old darkroom, Mackenzie Color (rip), but I've really enjoyed the massive sense of community throughout the neighborhood. Everything seems possible here in a way that it doesn't in other neighborhoods.
Can you recommend any Bushwick artists or art venues that you think we should check out?
I LOVE Pocket Utopia on Flushing Ave & Morgan, and will be sad to see it go when they're programming ends. I hate to say it, but I don't go out enough in Bushwick, I'm a workaholic. As far as artists, my friend Stephen Truax makes some really beautiful paintings, as does Andrew McNay, who had a booth at the GEISAI art fair in Miami with me this past December. I like Carrie Villine's project Member's Only alot (and own one!), she was also at GEISAI and lives pretty close by. Also, though he doesn't really live in Bushwick technically, my friend Ryan Pfluger makes some really great photographs that everyone should check out.
Thank you Gregg!
To learn more about Gregg's art practice, check out his website and blog.