Gregory Rose has had his creativity flowing childhood, and h still continues to explore painting and visual art today. Along with teaching in the metro area for over 7 years, Rose’s work was recently featured at the Rogue Budda Gallery with Chris Heidman.
Photos and interview by Kelsey Johnston
Secrets: Where are you from?
Gregory: I’m originally from Easton, Pennsylvania which is the same home town as the former heavy weight champion – Larry Holmes. Some folks call it the Lehigh Valley, Northampton County. A place I like to refer to as Pennsyltucky- home.
Secrets: How did you get started?
Gregory:. As a child I would draw and paint a lot with my Grandmother Dimples. I continued up and through high school. Actually, I started exhibiting in 1992 my junior year. I haven’t really stopped actually, always have been making art.
Secrets: What’s your approach to composition?
Gregory: It’s not pre-determined for me. My approach to composition is similar to my approach to life. Wake up, brush your teeth and see what the day gives you. I do no preliminary sketching or have any preconcieved concept or idea before hand. I guess you can say I am a reactionary when it comes to making my work. Most of the contemplating or idea formulation, is develop through the process of creating and reacting to multiple stimuli that I cross paths or have an experience with. Namely I am painting my life, telling you intimate stories of my day(s) and our time(s).
Secrets: You recently had a show with Chris Heidman. Tell me about you and his cohesive styles.
Gregory: I think the cohesiveness comes between the use of line. That language between visual and written language, due to the fact that we write songs together and have been known to pass paintings back and forth- Chris and I have been collaborating
with each other for almost a decade now. So, we have rhythms and beats and we have a different plane of existence I guess you would say for two people with that big of an ego. (laughs) I don’t know how we do it but, we do. More importantly, between my formal training and his formal training, my life experience and his life experience. There is a place where two unknowns become a new “force” a new- “ way of looking”, and at times “listening” when you add in the music we cocreate with each other.
Secrets: What tool can you not live without?
Gregory: A pair of Chopsticks. I can eat, cook, tape a brush or pencil to them. So I can use them to draw and paint. At times if they are large enough, I can even use them to hold my dreads in a bun. After the sticks I would say my computer. I find that I am connected more than I would like to be. But, alas, without it I find life a bit challenging when I am trying to take care of my business(s).
Secrets: What’s your personal soundtrack at the moment?
Gregory: I’m really listening to a lot of country and gospel. I find myself with the Red Pens, Naz, Gil Scott Heron, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Total Babe, Ultra Chorus, QTip,Common, the Rolling Stones, Insidious Rays and G-Hop in the car. When I paint, I like to listen to jazz, old spirituals sung by the women of Gee’s Bend. Oh and don’t let me forget KLF’s “Chillout” Cd. I also miss my old school flavor though, Bad Brains, The Stooges, Ramones, Fishbone, janes addiction and listening to Willie nelson, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Conway twitty with my Dad in the car. When the sun is shining though I like of course my Reggae, and Joni Mitchell. When it rains, my boy Jeff Buckley and Richie Havens — ”Resume” keeps the mood.
Secrets: What’s your favorite part about living in the Twin Cities?
Gregory: I like the weather and the green space. The green space is what I like the most and the fact that I’m right here by Theodore Wirth Park and can go cross-country skiing, you know how many people freak out seeing a brother like me cross-country
skiing? (laughs) It’s a sight. I need to get out there this season, but I have been putting a lot of time into the art and music. Which in the Twin Cities is a great opportunity. The Twin Cities when I came in 2001 was in the top 5 for liberalism and funding the Arts. So, where else would a person like myself want to be?
Secrets: What’s your favorite establishment?
Gregory: Do I have to disclose that information?
Secrets: No, you don’t.
Secrets: Maybe, you could pick your runner up. Where do you like to go to eat, grab a beer, take in some art?
Gregory: I like to go to Sporty’s on Como. That’s my spot to go and kind of contemplate the day. Now in terms of viewing art it’s the MIA. I love taking my kid, I love taking my students because of the diversity. My favorite thing to do though is to take my daughter. She has such and eye for sculpture, its refreshing to experience and watch as her aesthetic choices mature and develop.
Secrets: Childhood dream career?
Gregory: A professional skateboarder with purple dreadlocks who made art on the side and had a band. (laughs) I guess things are a reality?