Biographical Statement

I've been an artist for twenty-five years, working primarily in the two-dimensional mediums, including; painting, drawing, printmaking and a variety of photographic processes. Regardless of the medium that I am utilizing, my work invariably is drawn from personal experience.

For approximately fifteen years I have been influenced by the urban landscape, of which I have been a part, in the city of Chicago. For me the urban environment, as metaphor, shifts between landscapes; cultural and personal, technological and socioeconomic, spiritual and mundane. The architectural edifice functions dialectically between persistence and obsolescence, triumph and decline, hope and despair. From the dawn of the communication age draw the shadows of social fission, artificial intelligence and prosperity, and the resign of elective dysfunction. As actual historical artifacts, through their architectural roots and utilitarian destinies, these subjects act reciprocally as an expression of some essential truth, and at the same time the acknowledgment of anticlimax.

I consider the human figure, as well as portraiture, to be an important staple of my artistic development and inspiration, stressing personal depiction, empathic response, anatomical fundamentals, and the expressive uses of both color and medium application. During my brief retreat to the rural environment for graduate study, my work took to the pasture for an examination of the genus Bos domesticus. My formal treatments of the domestic cow have been similar to my approach to that of the human figure, while dealing at the same time with the nuances, quandaries and symbiotics of domestication.

To support myself as an artist I have worked in several professions related to my visual arts training; i.e. museum exhibit development and production, film and television scenic production, and as a college instructor in the visual arts.

Gary Schirmer 2002