“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” -Steinback
Life has been incredibly rough lately for a number of reasons, most of which I'd rather not announce to the internet. One thing I can refer to is a recent local tragedy- the loss of a great artist and good friend to many. I want to use this space to commemorate the life & work of Ben Gregory. If you met me selling art on the street in New Orleans and pay attention to such things there's a very good chance you met Ben and saw his work too. He was relentless in pouring himself into his work and his work into the world.
Ben was one of the first people I met moving to New Orleans in 2004. We weren't best friends, we often made plans to hang out and would later be nodding in understanding at our mutual flakiness. We both still have books leant to the other a number of years ago that never got re-exchanged. When I first heard the news that was what really got me- Ben was someone so familiar and comfortable to me I assumed I would just always see him. My favorite times were when we didn't make plans and bumped into each other and loitered for hours and shared awesome twisting conversations about art- about techniques and materials, about intentions and results and about what we were working on and what was actually coming out. Here are some stray bits of those conversations that spilled over online:
2007- hey do you want to see some of the pictures that im makeing for jackson square?!
2008- thes are the pieces that i was telling you guys about. got a long way to go, but getting there. still pretty sloppy. but its getting some where. may work on it a bit more
tring to paint a composition over detail...
As a person Ben was genuinely kind and unpretentious. As an artist he was extremely original & restlessly dedicated. I fucking hate that this is post-mortem and I can't shake the nagging sense that Ben was right in the middle of his work when he got taken out of this world. If anything, I'm hoping we can still share the vitality of his work, so if you haven't been exposed here is a small portion:
If you'd like to see more of Bens work, there is quite a bit posted on his facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ben.gregory.3910?fref=ts