Take one Aussie kid living in Outback Australia in the 80's. Administer a big spoon full of country bumpkin seasoned with extra amounts of creativity. Add good old fashioned table wisdom served in loving spoonfuls from a wise parent. Shake, bake, then relocate to the tropical rainforests of northern Australia. Add nature, a playful attitude and stir vigorously, layer hormones, hammer in early 90's music with a love for drawing. Combine a sense of humor and a good sprinkle of laid back attitude, then leave to rise naturally. Next add a keen interest in experimentation and a love for art, lightly whisk 1 part 'ability' with 8 parts love for all things weathered and decayed, throw in some bitumen, nails, glue, found objects and a few lumps of heartbreak. Then some art school, add a twist of fate for good measure. Season and relocate to Norway, add love, a language , isolation with a good hearty dousing of dedication and determination. Let simmer for a few years and garnish with copious amounts of passion.
I am an Australian Mixed Media Artist who now resides in Melbourne after living in Norway for 7 years. My work has been focused on creating interesting texture and layering techniques. Being a mixed media artist I like to use lots of different materials, those include bitumen (tar/asphalt), glue, acrylics, tiling filler/spackle, spray paint, oil crayons, foil, metal, encaustic wax, plexiglass, and other found objects. I also like to work with video. My two main areas of interest are painting and assemblage. In regards to painting, I have two distinct styles, one I would classify as being figurative and the other contemporary abstract. I have followed my heart in terms of my art education and have been a bit of a nomad. Studying art at university and taking many workshops/courses over the years with travelling and local artists. I have not exhibited much over the last 6 years due to location. I conduct workshops both 'live' and 'online' at various time of the year. I am very laid back, I drink far too much coffee and my motto is 'Inspire, Create and Educate while having a darn good time.'
Education James Cook University Bachelor of Visual Arts Major : Painting, Printmaking and Art History 'I don't think art schools can do anything for artists today. One sees the people who have been taught. What are they doing?After all, they never make anything new, they just go back to a kind of academic drawing which was better done by artists in the past'- Francis Bacon
Online Presence Youtube I have a pretty successful Youtube channel named 'Gary Reef' with 11000+ subscribers. This channel documents my artist journey, my creative thought process and anything relating to art.
Because of my online presence I have acquired a great fan base of followers who are dedicated, supportive and interested in the type of art I create. Exhibitions Because I lived in the middle of nowhere (remote part of Norway for the past 7 years) it has made it hard to exhibit regularly, but in saying that I opened my studio several times a year to the public. These studio openings have become pretty popular and I have had fans travel from the United Kingdom. I also exhibit at Art Fairs and Markets several times a year.
Group Exhibitions 2012 - 'Urban Art' Brunswick Street Gallery (16th March- 29th March) 2012 - 'Dead Rockstars' Eugene Oregon at Blunt Graffix then at The Wave Art Gallery 2010 - Haugalandsutstillingen - Haugarhuset Skeisvannvien 16, 5519 Haugesund Norway 2009 -'The Nature of Art', Municipal Gallery, 262 E. Grand Avenue, Escondido, Ca 92025 2008 - 'Secrets Within', Rosendal Tourist Hotel 2007 - 'Jubileumsutstilling', Galleri Ramfjord, Oslo Norway 2007 - 'Flight' Kick ARTS, Cairns, Queensland Australia 2004 - 'Compact Prints' international print exhibition and exchange 15 October - 14 November, Umbrella Contemporary Art Gallery, Townsville 2003 - 'REMNANTS OF PRESENCE', Sugarama Gallery, ASIM Mourilyan FNQ (4 May - 29 June) 2002 - 'BLUE', Kick Arts, Cairns Dec.
Selected Publications Critical reviews and media coverage: 2008 - Haugesund Newspaper Feature Article 2003 - Lou West 'Remnants of Presence': Nineteen contemporary artists' Arts Nexus July-Sept p.26 2003 - Innisfail Advocate EXHIBITION REVIEW
Books 2012 - 'The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists Revealed' by Seth Apter published by Northern Lights. 2009- 'The Artful Scanner' by Gary Reef published through Blurb.com 2009- 'Many Hands Many Lands' by Gary Reef published through Blurb.com