Gregory Rick

Tournesol Award, 2022 - 2023

photo of gregory rick

Artist Statement

I see my work as History Painting promoting the obscure, the forgotten, and the commonly known. My life has been full of tribulations; I look at them as initiations. For every hardship I have endured, my art has grown with me. My father went to prison for murder when I was eight years old. 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, helping me deal with my guilt about the war. 

My work comes from my personal experience but is not entirely personal. I tell stories that reflect my story, but are in dialogue with the wider world, in which myth gives voice to the underbelly, the lumpen displaying the familiar and grandiose in tandem. My work tethers together seemingly opposing ideas 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 with memory and self-exploration, reflecting on the absurdity and monumentality of history. 


While at Headlands

Maintaining a studio at Headlands affords the space and support to continue making work without pause, gaining inspiration from the unique and rich history of the Headlands.