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Art & Life with Gabe Langholtz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabe Langholtz.

Gabe, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Up until recently, I’ve always been a bit reluctant to refer to myself as an artist. It’s a rather bold statement, and one I feel is often tossed around a little too liberally. I suppose I’m comfortable with that statement these days, but that’s a relatively recent thing, within the past couple of years.

Initially, painting was a means of filling a creative void for me, one that existed after I’d quit playing music; I’m a former singer/songwriter. Since I was a teenager, music had been my creative outlet, before that it was writing.

I first became aware of my passion for painting in my early thirties, while finger-painting alongside my firstborn daughter; she was about two at the time. Each time we would have one of our father-daughter painting sessions, I’d always find myself painting long after she’d moved onto other things. Eventually, I started doing it on my own, and years later (after a five-year hiatus) I started doing it seriously, which brings us to the here and now.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’m predominantly a narrative painter. Stylistically, my paintings are amalgamation of modern, minimalist, and folk-art influences. As a common practice, I routinely employ the use of mundane cultural objects and/or activities to establish a contemporary narrative, oftentimes drawing on humor, parody, and pastiche as a tool for social commentary. I’ve been told my work reads like crime scene photographs, which I think makes sense. I’m interested in the relationship of objects, how they coexist, moreover how they are construed when paired with other objects. That being the case, Still Life’s make up a large fraction of my body of work.

My intent is to create a place where beauty and ugliness coexist. Intrigue and repulsion, innocence and impurity, the juxtaposition of these elements are reflective of humanity and of our individual makeup. I’m just painting the ugly truth.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
Absolutely, Be realistic, and don’t be afraid to have a job with a steady income. Seriously, don’t fret over having a day job. It doesn’t define your success. In art, like anything else, there’s a lot of preconceived notions about the ways things must be done. I used to subscribe to some of that, and as a result, I was a little more miserable than need be because I was led to believe that having a day job meant I wasn’t a legitimate artist. I know better than that now. The truth is, having a day job has played an important role in my work. Not having to concern myself with the salability of my artwork has given me the freedom to take risks as a painter and explore the unconventional subjects that interest me.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
The best way to show support and to stay in the know is to engage with me on social media. Sharing, liking, and commenting on social media posts can go a long way in helping an artist grow his/her audience.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Gabe Langholtz

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