Number 55: Gregory Euclide
City: Le Sueur
Years spent living in MN: 12
While many artists work across various mediums, few frequently combine them into one piece. Painter and installation artist Gregory Euclide often does so. Each of his relief paintings invites you to enter a fascinatingly detailed ecosystem; flat paintings twist and rip apart, revealing intricate paper cut-outs winding through three-dimensional rivers, trees, and beaches. His work often speaks to environmental concerns; while a bucket of paint may capture the color of the sky, but it also pollutes the earth (cigarette butts are also occasionally featured). The resulting pieces are beautiful, yet harrowing in their implications. In addition to creating the album art for Bon Iver's latest album, Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Euclide is currently working on a large-scale installation at the Museum of Art and Design.
[jump] Name three things that are inspiring your work right now:
Spring. When this earth is growing inch-by-inch, all around me, all green and bright... I can't help but respond.
Technology. I recently acquired a device that can cut anything I make in Illustrator out of paper, wood, or metal. It's a huge timesaver.
All the amazing music that is available: Mountains, Bon Iver, Papercuts, Tim Hecker, Peter Wolf Crier, Brokeback, Damien Jurado -- the list goes on and on.
Name three things that inspired and/or motivated you as a budding creative type:
Music. There are certain albums that have been very influential to me, like the series of albums that ryuichi sakamoto and alva noto have produced.
Reading. Books by W.J.T. Mitchell, Malcolm Andrews, and others made a pretty big impression on how I view the land.
Moving out of the city was a big plus for me. I love what the city offers, but I can't live my life in a way that is so disconnected from nature.
What was your last big project?
I have been working for the past six months on a large-scale installation for the Museum of Art and Design in New York, opening June 7. For this work I created a 7 x 5 foot traditional landscape painting in a gold leaf frame. The landscape pours out of the painting onto the floor in a diorama that then lifts up to the fifth floor window, which overlooks Central Park.
What do you have going on now or coming up in the near future that should be on our radar?
The Bon Iver album covers I did this winter are being released, and I am working on the largest/most complicated installation I've ever done for the Toledo Museum of Art.
Creative/career high point (so far)?
I think the Otherworldly installation at MAD is going to be pretty fun to see finished. The Bon Iver cover work was really exciting for me, because I was able to work closely with someone I really respect. Having my work associated with such a wonderful collection of songs is pretty humbling.
What has been your biggest challenge as an artist?
Shipping. I make delicate work and traditional methods of shipping are not known for being gentle. I have had to find different, more expensive solutions.
How has the local scene changed since you began your career?
I'm not exactly sure. I try as hard as I can to stay out of the scene.
If you had to live in the world of a novel, which one would you choose, and why?
Kafka on the Shore. I think Murakami creates a place I long to be: mysterious, sensuous, dangerous, and a little surreal. And, in this case, the exile to the cabin up in the woods was exactly what I could use.
What's one place you have yet to travel to that you'd love to visit? Why?
Nepal. Once, when I was a kid, I saw a photo documentary about Nepal in National Geographic. There was a young man climbing up a cliff face on a rope. He was gathering honey from a bee hive and all these bees were swarming around him and I imagine, stinging him. It seemed like a very dense and rich area... a place that has not yet been totally changed by capitalism. I would really like to go to any place that doesn't market consumables to me nonstop.
Do you have a suggestion for someone whose work we should be checking out? Feel free to leave your top picks in the comments.
Past creatives, so far: