Gregory is a painter, sculptor, and public artist and works in a variety of media. He was born in Georgia and grew up in Colorado. He studied architecture at Arizona State University, received his BFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, and his MFA from the University of Utah. He began his career as an editorial illustrator in New York City, doing magazine and book cover for major publications and publishers. After receiving his MFA, Gregory transitioned to working full-time as a fine artist. He has also juried art shows, served on numerous arts councils and art boards, and instructed at a number of Universities and Colleges. His work is in collections nationally and internationally. He has lived and worked in Los Angeles, New York City, Park City, Utah, and now Southern Utah.
Gregory Ragland’s artistic journey has led him down different paths of subject matter and materials that include figurative sculpture and painting, photo-realistic painting, abstracted landscapes, and sculptures in resin, ceramics, bronze, stainless steel, aluminum, and wood. His color palette ranges from bright color as a major focus to a subtle limited palette where texture and surface development plays a vital role. His work is divided between his large-scale public art commissions and his studio work represented in galleries. He is like a two-headed coin, in a comfortable equilibrium between two-dimensional paintings and three-dimensional sculptural work. His diversity of subject matters, from realism to the abstract, and his search for new ways to do something different by combining new materials or seeing something that is old as new for the first time fuel a never ending creative quest. His work can be broken into categories, yet all those categories of identification are blurred into the last new piece.
My current series, “Parallel Layers,” pulls from my figurative work, where I began experimenting with plexiglass, resin, and transparent materials. The symbiotic relations between acrylic paint and the plexiglass surface generate a magical translucency and transparency of the materials allowing for a shallow depth, not unlike a leaf or twig embedded into a frozen surface. I begin with total abandonment and spontaneity. Throwing, dribbling, splattering, and pouring paint onto the surface, removing my hand from the process and allowing the materials to generate an artistic reaction. Being patient and layering upon layering until intuition moves me to use my hands. Then I use squeegees and unconventional tools to create structure, geometry, and composition. With these tools, I make a variety of marks and textures to move the eye through the entirety of the painting. A push and pull between adding and subtracting material complete the process. “Parallel Layers” does not rely on the recognizable and familiar. It draws the viewer to the unfamiliar yet recognizable based on their own layered memories.