Gregor Gileta At The Lucas LA Gallery
Posted by Edward T. Krupka on Jul 1, 2003 - 11:56:00 PM
BEVERLY HILLS—In the winter of 2001, he meets Lucas Schelkens, a Belgian art gallery owner. Impressed with his work, Lucas wants to represent Gregor in the states. Gregor's paintings sell quite well. Gregor has sold his paintings to people from Boston to Paris, from oil tycoons to bank magnates. His work is for all that can enjoy and appreciate art for what it is; a truly emotional experience.
Let me say this: I'm a devotee of art. I love art. All types. I've covered stuff from the horribly distorted to the sublime, from the didactic cubist to the avuncular, to the languid posing of an inverted lamp displaying sheer torment to a twisted-looking pretzel thing. From the abstract to the spherical, from something dangerous to meltingly intense. You get me? Well, people, I've fallen upon something new.
Beverly Hills; Photo by Rachelle Sadler
I was covering my regular beat when a friend of mine suggested that there's this new artist I should see. Skeptical, though intrigued, I said why not? We go to a small little European cafe in West Hollywood called Belvedere. It's quaint, cute, a bit busy when my friend waves at someone. The man sees this and quietly walks up towards me. Medium height, lithe build, cropped hair, pleasant disposition. I'm thinking, "Naaahhh, this can't be him." He looks normal, even average. I step back; wait! Yup, he's one. How can I tell? The eyes (always the eyes) dark, protruding but very expressive and focused. He says, "Are you here about my paintings?" I say, "Maybe, whatcha got?"
He takes me to a gallery in the heart of Beverly Hills called Lucas LA. We walk in and I see many different sculptures and pieces there when I notice his paintings hung all over the walls. I walk over to one of them. He sees my expression. "So, is it something you like?" I still gander taking in the sight. I look at him. He at me; "Well?" I still gaze at a portrait of something warm though disturbing at the same time. I look at another; different feeling, different painting; then another. The colors, shades, hues this man really knows his stuff. He looks at me warmly and says, "Edward, welcome to my art." I look back and smile at him.
And now dear readers, welcome to Gregor Gileta, an artist to be reckoned with.
Gregor Gileta was born in Poland, in the small town of Katowice. His parents were painters; his aunt, Elyce, is an artist that created the well-known children's TV show "Bolek & Lolek." In school, Gregor takes the bar and is accepted to Krakow University majoring in medicine. However something else came in the form of a canvas art. While vacillating between medicine and his new-found passion, art, he sticks with the latter and graduates from Krakow University with a BFA degree in Art in 1987.
After painting for some time, Gregor finally gets his name known around Poland. Displaying his work in some well-known festivals in Gdansk and Glicwice, he gets a lot of notoriety. Not one to stay in one place too long, he feels it's time to travel. Through a friend he hears that someone in Vienna is interested in his pieces.
Once there, the distinguished Stubentor Art Gallery commissions him to do a couple of paintings. Those sell quickly and Gregor is known as a very promising young artist. In the summer of 2000, he wins the "Art Cabinet Molding" award for most creative piece and is displayed at the International Art Fair in Vienna. Needing a much-needed change of pace, he starts to develop an abstract style and, through a friend in Los Angeles, heads for the States.
Photo by Brittany Crouse
Canyon News visited Gregor's studio and asked a few questions.
What do you think is art?
Art is all around us; it's not just one thing. It's if it's from the heart and it's pure, I consider that art.
I see. Do you feel anything is fresh and original?
No. I think nothing is really unique. We believe that things should be unique however, we really look at them from a different point of view. Like when you write something you know it's good, right? Well, I do the same thing when I paint something—try to make it unique—knowing that it's really hard to be unique.
Even Modigliani. He tried to make something his own.
Why are you into the abstract?
It's not abstract. It's like you see something and it's whatever you want to see. That's what art is. It's what you want and feel.
I see. When people buy your paintings, what's the first thing they ask you?
How much does it cost? (laughs) And I should have paid attention to art history instead of business, but I like it. Wrap it up please. (laughs)
Uh-huh. Last question: What do you want to leave to society?
My art. If I can make people think, to feel, I like strong intense—like when you take the skin off and show everything. Beautiful or ugly—show what it is. You know? Tell you something: someone saw my art and cried; that's what I mean, understand? One door is open, beautiful, abstract; the other is different. OK? In others words, when seeing my art, it's like a key to your soul; opening up a door to your own painting and you look in yourself—that's what I love to see.