The cover says it all. A mixture of beauty, technique, spiritually, experimentation and style. Greg Spalenka has been churning out paintings and illustrative work for decades. A collection captured under one volume is a blessing to artists and enthusiasts of all things interesting. This recent release is titled “The Art of Greg Spalenka” now coming under the wing of Titan Books.
It probably goes without saying, but having one’s works showcased under a Titan Books product, is really the finest way to present to a consumer audience. The book is beautifully bound with 160 pages of vibrant high quality color imagery and hard bound cover.
While the true bonus here is having Greg’s work presented on large 12.4 x 9.2 pages, we are also given great insight into Greg’s process and way of thinking offering accompanied narratives that move us from one section into the other.
With a history of over 30 years of work being produced, one of the great joys of Greg’s work is traveling thru his changes over the years while still painting a certain visionary approach to his concepts and choice of mediums. The residual effect is seeing his work gracing the cover of several noted magazine issues, film studio products, book covers, and newspapers. Spalenka creations provide the perfect example of industry illustrative work. Pieces are produced on the basis of an idea (sometimes rather quickly) invoking emotion before a readers dives into their intended literature.
I personally found favoritism in Greg’s 80’s era work. His process (which was shared by alot of artist at the time) include the experimentation of collage materials and mixed mediums,. What we end up with is not just another drawing or painting ……..but expressive and interesting pieces (both in concept and in creation).
Pieces here are described as being photographed first, printed out, painted on, and repeated …..forming the foundation for a very trendy and memorable viewer experience.
The one thing that often stood out in these pieces was Greg’s affinity with concept. His choice of invoking spirituality into his work almost effortless can be traced even down to his sketchbook of ideas (included on various pages). Then the process begins, things begin to get almost chaotic but yet so indicative of a remarkable finished product. This effect can easily be seen in the cover art, as well as many included pieces inside.
Paintings, chalk, colored pencil or whatever medium is used, each is a only a tool that eventually leads to Greg’s unique style. At the end of the day, it is “that” style that artists strive for. To be identified, to be exclusive and to make people think. This thinking is what I get when looking into many of the pieces included in this book.
While some chapters are clearly dedicated to portraits and personal commissions, others are the culmination of a proposed need for granting readers a perspective into the piece of literature they have encountered.
Greg’s fantasy illustrative is never more representative of this statement than when we look into the bigger picture to unveil a story complimented with smaller stories. Overly complex at times is what makes his art elevate into stylistic. The color choices reveal what he wants us to see leaving smaller subtexts hidden to absorb later.
I remember quite well some of the more promotional images such as those seen in his “goddess” section. They usually could be found in one volume or the next of the “Annual Spectrum Awards” book releases. They were always interestingly recognizable as a “Spalenka” piece often using complex clip arts over paintings and photography. It’s hard to describe, but I like to think of it as chaotic beauty.
The book includes mostly art pages without titles, though if your like me you can still locate the titles to pieces in the extensive index. The bonus here is that Greg has included the mediums used into the pieces as well. Not only is this an insight but its an aid for artists who want to embark down a similar path of experimentation and expressionism.
The book also includes a large chapter of his recent film work illustration which even as conceptual pieces are still art pieces in their own rights.
In all, this is a great book to have whether its sitting on your coffee table or there among your collections of great artistry releases.
Dreamy, fantastical “The Art of Greg Spalenka” is simply a gift to artists and art lovers.