Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabe Langholtz.
Gabe, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
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.
I first became aware of my passion for painting while finger-painting alongside my firstborn daughter; she was about 2 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.
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. Music had been my creative outlet since I was a teenager, before that it was writing. By the time I’d reached my thirties, I’d grown bored with music. In hindsight, I understand why this happened, but I didn’t at the time. I’ve since come to understand that, between gigs and rehearsals there was too much repetition and not enough creativity. I find it’s easier to avoid that with painting. Eventually, I’d put down the guitars and pick up the brushes permanently, which brings us to the here and now.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
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. 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. So, in a sense, I’m just keeping it real.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
The artist persona is over romanticized. You’d be doing a disservice to yourself to subscribe to it. Artmaking is serious business, and isn’t for the faint of heart. So, be prepared to work. Also, 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.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I’ll be part of an upcoming show entitled De/Construction which opens September 15, at Davis Gallery in Austin, TX. It’s a three-person exhibit featuring the work of Austin based artists Joseph Hammer, Chun Hui Pak, and myself.
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 15th | 7-9p
Artist Talk: Saturday, September 29th | 2p
If attending the show isn’t feasible, the next best way to show support 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.
- Website: www.gabelangholtz.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabelangholtzart/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabelangholtzart
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/gabelangholtz
- Other: http://gabelangholtzart.tumblr.com/