Gregory Rick

Artadia Awardee

Greg Rick was born in 1981 and grew up in South Minneapolis. Rick received his BFA from CCA and is currently pursuing his MFA in art practice at Stanford University. Developing a historical imagination, and a fondness for drawing stories, Rick collapses history while confronting personal trauma. Rick’s works exist as reflections of his personal experience while being in dialogue with the wider world. Rick has received the Combat Infantry Badge, the Yamaguchi printmaking award, the Nathan Oliviera fellowship, and the Jack K. and Gertrude Murphy Award and has shown in museums and galleries in both Minneapolis and California.

“I see my work as History Painting promoting the obscure, the forgotten and the common knowledge. My life has been full of tribulations, I look at them as initiations. For every hardship I endured my art has grown with me. My father went to prison when I was 8 for murder. Although losing my dad was rough, him giving me two books, one on history and one on art, started my infatuation with both and serves as a means of connection with my pops. Similarly, art was a bastion of light after I returned from Iraq and helped me deal with my guilt about the War.

This work comes from my personal experience but is not entirely personal. I tell stories that reflect my story but are not totally personal and are still in dialogue with the wider world. Where myth gives voice to the underbelly, the lumpen in tandem displaying the familiar and grandiose. My work tethers together seemingly opposing ideas as I teeter between the personal, the historical and the political. I am painting on a shaky historical line cemented in humility and conviction. I occupy my pictures with characters who serve as archetypes in conjunction memory and self-exploration reflecting on the absurdness and monumentality of history.”

“Dense and layered vignettes pull from personal experiences and shared cultural histories in Gregory Rick’s paintings, drawing out narratives of social tension, oppression, and symbolism in an unencumbered figurative approach that is both cathartic and instinctual,” commented juror Joseph Becker.