SIGHT SEER David Pettibone and Owen Gray



David Pettibone Alaska Paintings 2015-16
Owen Gray Observed, Perceived Dreamed Selected Paintings
April 12, 2016 – July 12, 2016

David Pettibone
Fox Gallery NYC is pleased to exhibit two artists whose observed world is transformed by internal vision and perception. In the Alaska paintings of David Pettibone, trees share the position of subject with the actual paint. Citing LucienFreud and John Constable as powerful influences, he reworks his paintings according to the changing light and conditions, building up the surface to a highly tactile and breathing presence.

Pettibone states: Change is, in a sense, both the subject and the medium. Each tree is a constant against which to measure change. As the environment shifted in light, weather and season, I reworked the paintings, always chasing the newest transformation. Over time, the parts within the scene that changed the least began to emerge through both painterly illusion and the environment’s fingerprints in the paint by rain, snow, dirt and the occasional spruce needle or insect.

David Pettibone received his BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA in Painting from the New York Academy of Art where he was awarded the New York Academy of Art Fellowship in 2008. 

He has regularly exhibited his work and taught painting and drawing at various schools and institutions throughout New York City. David currently teaches Drawing and Painting at University of Alaska,Anchorage, and continues to explore his environment through paint.

Owen Gray
An intimate world of monkeys, birds, reptiles, and insects, aggressively guarding their turf in the tropics reign supreme in Owen Gray’s paintings exhibited April 12 – July 12, at Fox Gallery NYC. Gray’s paintings are teaming with nature trying to survive. This particular cross section of wildlife juxtaposes mussels blackening water with snakes, frogs and musical instrument-like symbolic creatures. Other paintings include dug out boats colliding with each other.
Mario Naves of the New York Observer noted, “Mr. Gray’s symbolism has a strong spiritual subtext. Even when he paints something as mundane as a hillside covered with scrubby bushes, it’s shot through with retribution, redemption and, less assuredly, grace. This is what makes him special—there’s no separation between the dutiful naturalist and the visionary. Indeed, to call Mr. Gray a ‘visionary’ is to inflate the quiet rectitude of his fantasies.”
Gray’s imaginative compositions of water and nature, thick with foliage and animals, are inspired by his fantasies. His ability to evoke a sense of danger and playfulness is derived from his dreams of swimming with aquatic creatures. Elements from Peter Brueghel, Hieronymus Bosch, and 17th century Dutch still life have also influenced Gray’s subject matter.
Born and raised in Wayland, Mass., Owen Gray studied as a young man at the Portland School of Art in Maine and the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, MA. In 1975, he moved to New York and took classes at the New York Studio School, where he studied with Nicholas Carone and Leland Bell.

{Gray paints} “a kind of primordial peaceable kingdom, as far from the frenetic hard-edged modernity of New York City as one could get… a Freudian never-never land where the ego lives in close touch with churning instinctual energies.”
– Ken Johnson, The New York Times (2002)