Gregory Vernitsky was born in Odessa, Ukraine and currently resides in San Francisco, CA. He started oil painting and clay sculpture in 1967 and attended artist studios and workshops. Gregory graduated from National Marine University, Odessa, Ukraine in 1975. He worked as a Marine and Mechanical Engineer in Odessa and in the Bay Area while he pursued his art interests. Since 2011, he has been exhibiting his work in various galleries and in his studio in the United States.
The pieces I make are at the intersection of joy and discovery. I enjoy creating something new; discovering the hidden beauty in a piece of wood, or another found object. I salvage pieces that awaken my imagination, and let them lay idle for a while before I begin working on them. A sense of responsibility motivates me: I feel that I have to reveal a hidden structure, movement, or idea and share it with another person. I stop carving and cutting when the sculpture can occupy and hold space, and hope the meaning of the piece is revealed.
My pieces are visually very different – found objects will give me some direction on how to reflect on time, scale and narrative. In some of my sculptures, I try to make small pieces feel monumental and static, like a model for a public square statue. Museum pieces of art, book illustrations, or a memory of a poster or sign can also be a subject matter. Sometimes it is a play with memory, like recreation of a vanished world without looking for reference materials. In other works, it is time itself – it’s passing, it’s stillness, and the stress of waiting for something to happen.
There are stories behind most of my works, but I try to avoid literal details, and use structure, movement, or gesture instead. Cultural and historical references, or the story someone might come up with, are secondary to visual expression.
I leave my sculptures without much embellishment, mostly minimal protective coating. They are simple stories that convey a simple look. Sometimes, I hide my work, so pieces look as if they were found this way. Both the viewer and I are rewarded: viewer, for looking hard and imagining the story; I, for being able to share the joy of discovery in a process of creating a sculpture.