Greg Haberny is a hundred-mile-an-hour artist based in New York and you may know him from his extraordinary installation at last year’s Dismaland. His pieces are fast and cool and you can feel the energy it took to create them.
Hey Greg, how are things?
Things are great man. My show in New York City ‘The The Py•r•o·glyph•s’ just closed and I’m working on pieces for the Outsider Art Fair as we speak.
Your work is pretty manic and intense. Are you manic and intense when you paint them or are you actually a picture of calm… like cucumber water?
I’m actually quite centred. I know it may have the appearance of chaos and insanity but I’m a rather chill guy. Very in touch with my feelings… calm… cool, collected… highly sensitive but, also very gifted at tapping into the absurdity and the minute detail of my bizarre dimensional thinking… LOL!
Do you meticulously plan your work or do you just go with the flow with a vague idea?
I’m a linear thinker so I create narrative structures in my head then get them out… My favourite thing in the world is to roll into an institution or gallery then build, sculpt, and paint. Then just leave everything two minutes before the opening… (All the evidence)… the sketches, the blaring music, the sawdust, the ashes… bits and pieces of thought… It’s a raw pure form of theatrical art that really lets people see the inside of an artist’s mind and the beautiful madness of raw creation. My favourite thing to do is work! I’m like a child on Christmas morning every single day. I can’t wait to see what comes out of my head… I work seven days a week and I’m always playing with ideas. I’m insanely focused and I’ll never give up and I love what I do more than anything in the world.
If Joe Public was looking at your work, they might go, “fucking hell, this artist has to be a bit crazy, right?” Are you a bit crazy Greg?
No. not at all. I’m just driven by a manic, goal-oriented passion to get into the consciousness of curators, gallerists, collectors, residencies and museums at the highest level. I think big….VERY BIG!!!!
Do you prefer working on a canvas or doing installations?
I work with everything. I build installations to house my paintings, pottery and sculptures – the two go hand in hand. I’ve been far more minimal of late but I’m constantly evolving and changing. (That’s the artists job)… So what’s predictable now will be unpredictable in a week.
How annoying is having to de-install an installation?
I don’t. I generally burn everything. My new paintings and pottery works… “The Pyroglyphs” are all the ashes from previous art and installations that I’ve burned. I then soak the ashes in water, pulverize them into a powder and cut them with a medium and produce an actual “paint” out of the ashes of all previous materials. The medium is “GH Ash Black”…Patent ending… LOL!!! seriously, nothing goes to waste. I like the idea of “up-cycling” and raising the bar.
Where can we see more of your work?
I’m always looking for opportunities so all inquiries can be directed to Catinca Tabacaru in New York.