Friday Fifteen with Friends: Greg Dickerson

Published: June 24th, 2016

Every once in awhile, an artist stirs me with a new language, perspective, or vision. Minneapolis artist Greg Dickerson does just that with his intuitive and energetic artwork. His mix of color, materials and form is remarkably creative and bold. Greg’s got an upcoming show at the Matthew Rachman Gallery on July 15th, a fundraiser for Chicago House. Check it out. In the meantime, he more than qualifies as this week’s subject of our Friday 15 with Friends. Thanks, Greg!

greg dickerson

Name: Greg Dickerson

Occupation: Artist

Best known for: Using tactile materials combined with paint on both canvas and wood panels.  His vision is realized by working with the idea that immediacy allows for the conceptual process between elements and materials to interact. His work is best known for its’ playful abstraction and his exploration of color and form.

Antique or modern?  A mixture of both.  I like to mix heirlooms and newer pieces for a more eclectic vibe.

What has inspired or informed your interior style? I think the most important thing about style is being comfortable LIVING in the space. My mother was a collector of art and crafts and displayed everything. So spaces were more put together than designed. My house is that way now.

Which colors do you use most?  In my professional work I tend to use colors that don’t work together in a traditional sense. I like mixing institutional colors with a vibrant palette using that relationship to make a statement.

Greg Dickerson square art

Favorite materials or textures?  Beyond traditional painting materials I integrate fabrics, which I inherited from my Grandmother’s sewing room into my work- ginghams, plaids, stripes, quilted material, upholstery and even forgotten scraps.

How do you make your home double as a work space? At my home I have a converted barn, which houses my studio and a wood shop. I enjoy the separation of the two spaces with the convenience of location. This separation allows me the ritual of ‘going to my studio’ to switch gears from home life to creative life.

What household item could you not live without? My grill. I love to grill food in any season and almost everyday.

Which design website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? For me its not just about design magazines but popular culture magazines. Music magazines are an inspiration for sure- Mojo, Pitchfork and for design I love Wallpaper*.

Design rule you love to break?  In my professional work I enjoy mixing drawing and painting. Not sure if that’s breaking a rule but I enjoy the combination of the two.

Greg Dickerson artwork

What is your favorite room in your home?  The kitchen. It’s where everything happens, where everyone comes together and it’s always full of life.

What is your most treasured possession?  There is no way to pick just one but if I had to narrow it down I would say a collection of Bombeck etchings that I have from my mother who started collecting them in the 1960’s.

What is your favorite thing about Chicago—design-related or otherwise?  I like the combination of the old and new architecture in Chicago and the small pockets of neighborhoods have so much character.

To which city or country would you move for the design?  Although I live here now I really have to say Minneapolis. I transplanted here 18 years ago from Cleveland. I’ve watched the city grow so much in that amount of time. Minneapolis is very conscious of integrating nature in its development, which I love. Converting railroad tracks to bike trails or the use of art in public spaces. There’s a real effort going on here to unite nature with the urban landscape.

How would you describe your style?  My new work exudes a certain child like energy where institutional colors are paired with vibrant hues, graphic mark making and fabrics creating a juxtaposition between materials, color and form.  The work is driven by intuitiveness and is created with mixed mediums- using fabrics I’ve inherited from my grandmother.  Using fabric is about breaking borders where the fabric acts like a bucket of paint that is poured.  In my larger-scaled works I isolate color and texture in smaller studies.  I create a body of over 200 studies for any given show.  The studies tell a story.  One is a word, two a sentence, three a paragraph and so on until the story unfolds.

Greg Dickerson art Chicago