Gregg Cassin, a self-taught artist has painted since 1999. His sexuality, HIV status, Catholic roots, anger and hope all greatly influence his work. Using found discarded/orphaned vintage photographs, old books, sacred imagery, sewing notions, holy water from Lourdes, and more Gregg creates complex, hope-filled, and poetic images. He lives in San Francisco and sometimes Sag Harbor, Long Island. And has a GREAT daughter.
My work is an attempt to honor the sacredness of the human spirit. I work with images that illustrate the creative power of suffering ( ie. oppression, loss and illness) and its ability to transform us. These works often use images of “strangers” (children, women, people of color… representing outsiders) that have been cast-off and later rescued. And they become unlikely icons speaking to us of our innocence. The tradition of icons is that they be used in prayer….praying with eyes open allowing the sacred to enter our hearts. And we then enter another world. But my work is also a practice of spiritual reclaiming. Stealing back from this world and modern religion what is most dear to us…our sense of self. Creating art for me is about having a voice and talking/taking back. The oppressive powers of this world, esp. religion and mainstream culture on the marginalized are fuel to my fire. The overwhelmingly destructive force of religion and its spokespeople, is present in our daily lives. Prejudice, hatred and intolerance are not only accepted, but are honored and revered. My work is my voice and it is…part scream… part song… part cry… part prayer.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2009 NEW WORKS, Visual AID Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2004 NEW WORKS, Gallery Merz, Sag Harbor, New York 2003 “Unlikely Saints”, Space 743, San Francisco, CA 2003 “Loss is a Blossom”, San Francisco Main Library, San Francisco, CA
GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2012 community center in The Bahamas 2008 Hayes Valley Community Arts Center, San Francisco,CA 2003 Visual AID, SF International Art Expo, San Francisco, CA 2003 “Jewels in the Jewelbox ll”, THE CENTER, San Francisco, CA 2002 “Small Works” (juried-Best 2D mixed-media), Sonoma Museum of Visual Arts, Sonoma, CA 2002 “Visual AID artists show”, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2002 “Fight or Flight”, WORKS Gallery, San Jose, CA 2002 ‘’small works’, Gallery Merz, Sag Harbor, New York 2002 “Love, Romance and Friendship”, Art Connections, Davis, CA 2002 “Jewels in the Jewelbox”, THE CENTER, San Francisco,CA 2002 “Positive Too”, THE CENTER, San Francisco, CA 2001 “The World from a Gay Perspective” LIMN Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2001 ”Positive”, San Francisco Main Library, San Francisco, CA 2001 “In the Spirit of Icons”, Canessa Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2001 “self-portraits”, 2223, San Francisco, CA 2000 “self-portraits”, Architects and Heroes/OrtegArt San Francisco, CA 2000 “The World from a Gay Perspective” Michael Himovitz Gallery Sacramento,CA 2000 “Selections:2000” (juried show) Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco,CA 1999 San Francisco Open Studios Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy San Francisco,CA 2000 N.A.P.A. Art Show Clos Pegase Winery, Napa,CA Napa,CA 1999 “Big Deal” Somarts Gallery, San Francisco, CA 1999 San Francisco Open Studios Harvey Milk Civil San Francisco, CA 1999 N.A.P.A. Art Show Clos Pegase Winery, Napa,CA 1999 Group Show, spaceprojekt, San Francisco, CA
Eric Ernst, “Expressions of Faith are Powerful, Personal”: Southampton Press, Aug 19,2004
Visual AID catalogue, 2004
Chael Needle, “Unlikely Saints” ; Arts & Understanding, May 2002
Mark Mardon, “Safety in Numbers”; Bay Area Reporter, Oct,4,2001
Michael Himovitz Gallery (catalogue). The World from a Gay Perspective 2001
Victoria Dalkey, ‘’Gallery’s final show:Himovitz shows ‘World from a Gay Perspective’’’; The Sacramento Bee 4/22/01
Al Ruiz, “Queers Get Hooked on Art”; SF Frontiers 10/5/00
Sarah Coleman, “Bearable lightness” ; SF Bay Guardian 5/19/00