Pierre: What was it like moving from New Port, RI, to Philadelphia? What made you want to get out of there?
Gregory: Um...it was good. Newport was nice because I had the best job I can imagine, teaching screen-printing to high school students and doing a summer camp with younger kids. Newport is really small tho and expensive, not many people my age (including myself) could afford to live there. I have a lot of friends in Philly and there is a lot more happening here as far as the stuff I'm interested in, music and art, and like minded people.
It seemed like a really weird place, were you born and raised there?
No, actually when we met at the Seripop "Stuck in a Vortex" exhibition I had only lived there for like 6 months I think. I moved up there after college from Pennsylvania to work at the art center - when the center ran out of money and closed there just wasn't enough in Newport to keep me there.
When we drove up there it seemed like it was just a bunch of people and boats, old money. Anyway, how have you been liking Philly? Will Smith-ing it?
Fresh Prince was from West Philly! I live in Point Breeze, South Philadelphia. It's good, I'm in school now, I live with really productive artists
You aren't hood!
Right now I'm as hood as I ever hope to be.
Which program at which school are you attending?
Philly is awesome though, tons of great artists to collaborate with. I'm at University of the Arts. I'm in the Book Arts/Printmaking MFA program. Just finished up the semester last week
More skills to add to the madness. Where do you want to take them to eventually?
I just want to keep making stuff. I really enjoyed teaching - so I hope to do that again someday. My work is all over the place right now. I have been doing these books I showed you, free drawings, recipe books, but I have also been doing political stuff - about the murder rate here in Philly - I'm doing a book about a witch who is sick of housework. One of my wheat-pasted things was in Philadelphia's city paper today.
Woah, that's pretty awesome. Hopefully people will notice what its all about.
Yeah - I have been doing a sticker campaign that is more direct - stickers that say "Hello, my name was", like a name tag for each of the people that were murdered in the city last year, 406 people in Philly in 2006. But I am also making books and other stuffs that don't have so much of a political message, like I said, kind of all over the place right now.
Have you been doing band poster work at all? It looks like your hands are really full.
I've been doing some stuff. Recent ones are: Animal Collective, Aids Wolf, Sunset Rubdown, Child Bite. I am slowing down on that scene a bit - I have some stuff planned for a band from Philly called Papertrigger and I think I might do one when Liars come through Philly this spring. I'm just in school now so I think it's important to focus on that.
Don't forget where you came from though! We need you to keep it up. It seemed like going to Den Haag and hanging out with Zeloot was a huge motivational factor for you. Maybe I just wasn't around before that, but when you came back from there you had so many going. What was that like for you?
Going to Den Haag and staying with Zeloot and Manuel was great. They are some of the nicest and most motivated people I have ever met. I was really motivated when I got back. I moved out of my apartment and into this huge warehouse studio space(I've since moved back into a house). I still like doing rock posters. I'll definitely do one for Fucked Corpse if you guys roll through sometime. Like they live in a huge building that was once a school, but it's still a basement, and they are helping me to pay for stuff to come from America just cause we have seen each others work on the Internet, it was crazy.
Seriously. Its amazing how these things pop up all over the world and nobody really knows much about them. It is the kind of thing people will dig up in 50 years and recognize as great.
Zeloot and Helbaard will definitely be remembered. At the very least in The Hague, as far as a I know they are pretty much THE scene over there. Making it happen just to do it.
Its pretty amazing to see her output and how much is just her and her friends. Who else do you admire? Influences?
Dude, too many people. I'm constantly in awe of people like Zeloot being willing to sit down and draw with me. Mike Deforge, Seripop, Chris Kline, Jelle Crama, Peter Dragontail, Meg Hunt, Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch, tons of people...Marc Bell, Bongout, Steinberg, Kay Healy, Tony Millionaire, Suess, Roald Dahl, Little House Comics, Fort Thunder peeps, James Quigley.
Long lists are fun! Its such a nice way to find out about other people.
Yeah, I'm all over the place with influences I guess. I'm really into print-makers and comic people right now though. I just got the new Chippendale book, the maggots collection, my dad has it at his house so I can get it for Xmas. So excited about that. I just read "Jimbo in Purgatory" by Gary Panter, they had it at the library, so good.
It is really good. I got the new CF book Picturebox just put out. I can't wait for the next one.
Yeah, I go crazy for a lot of the providence stuff. That was a lot of the reason I was so interested in going to RI when I did. A ton of the art and music I am into came out of there. Its weird how stuff like that gets hyped after it happens.
Yeah, its great to see the recognition where it is due though. They put in a lot of years, and they have a lot of years left.
Totally, totally, I went back up last year to see the Wunderground exhibit, it was amazing.
Yeah, I got the book, it was like, almost too many posters. I saw it the day after providence declares war, and I think I saw the Melvins in Boston the next night.
Anyway, I'm a bad interview, I ramble. I'm starting a tee shirt label!
No, no. One last question. Dream project?
Dream project.... I don't know, big installations of wooden/painted characters made with Marc Bell and the ghost of Saul Steinberg. Just to keep making books. If I could support myself and afford to have a family and do it by drawing and printing and writing, that would be a dream.
Sounds like a good life to me. Any final words?