Art for Art’s Sake
Greg Pelner sculpts a model of creative efficiency
“This bat needs a home,” Greg Pelner quips as he delicately pinches the final folds of an aluminum wing needed for his latest work to take shape. While Greg is concerned about the ultimate destination of his creation, he needn’t worry. The bat is but the latest addition to his menagerie of creation that has made its way from his Los Angeles workshop into the hands of art collectors and galleries worldwide.
The fervor over Greg’s work—deemed “outsider art” by some, due to the artist’s self-taught origins—has stemmed from the quirky yet honest nature of his sculptures, drawings, and paintings.
“I find his work very intuitive. There seems to be a joy, a love of life…that is present in what he does,” comments Lorri Berenberg, director of Boston’s Berenberg Gallery where Greg’s work will be featured in 2006.
For those who only casually know Greg, such a portrait of this virtuoso might not be easily apparent. Diagnosed with autism at the age of three, Greg is an artist of few words. However, those who know him well cite that Greg reveals his personal zest for creating in other, subtler ways.
“He has real clear platforms about what he wants to accomplish,” says his mentor, Ron Davis, a teacher at Santa Monica College. “He never asks for verification or validation and always speaks about his work in a very positive way.”
For Greg himself, though, the joy of creating is in the process. Quickly unraveling a tube of aluminum foil, he sets his focus on his work, his eyes intent on his hands. “No one can predict the outcome,” he proclaims as he embarks upon his newest sculptural adventure.