How did showing in the exhibition impact your career as an artist?
“The exhibition enables me to create new work on a large scale, specifically for the exhibition. I was able to sell work through the show, helping to finance the production of additional and subsequent works. The award and exhibition feature prominently as part of my artist bio, as well as my CV.”
My work is inspired by my interest in, and appreciation for, science and the respective fields of biology, cognitive science, and theoretical physics. In addition to being a huge Cosmos, Planet Earth, Blue Planet, and Human Planet buff, I’ve enjoyed reading books such as Chaos (James Gleick), The Elegant Universe and The Hidden Reality (Brian Greene), Mind in Science (Richard L. Gregory), and Consciousness (Christof Koch), and What a Plant Knows (Daniel Chamovitz), just to name a few. Such subjects both amaze and challenge my understanding of the world around me. As a result, I feel the impetus to try to create visual allegories, imagining ‘What if? How might this thing or that concept look if it were to be made observable?’
The lines of inquiry that have most dramatically captured my interest and imagination are linked to the following ideas: Evolutionary biology and the study of the genome reveals common heritage. From our nearest primate ancestors to the most primitive bacteria, each organism has a percentage of its genes in common. In other words, all biological life on Earth is expressed in a common, programmed language (what are genes other than code written in organic materials?). Theoretical physical presents us with the concept of Planck-length ‘strings’ that must somehow interact in order to create ever larger amalgamations of energy resulting in the physical universe we perceive. Ultimately, out of this chaotic soup of brute matter we must be able to account for the emergence of self-replicating organisms and their corresponding levels of consciousness. Similarly, intelligence and the theory of panpsychism begs the question, is intelligence, in its most rudimentary form simply the byproducts of the organization of physical matter? Is intelligence an emergent characteristic inherent in any highly organized system?
I find that the immediate and direct process of drawing serves as a means by which I can reflect on such questions and entertain concepts that explore the fundamental nature of things. I also see image-making as a way of creating not just a physical relationship to abstract concepts, but a sensual and emotional one as well. I want my work to be felt, not just intellectualized. I want the subjects that I am exploring to resonate with the viewer on a basic visceral level while simultaneously encouraging them to ponder a layer of reality that exists beyond the immediate senses. Perhaps, most importantly of all, I want my work to capture a sense of awe, reverence, and adoration for nature, and through that, hopefully, help foster both inquisitiveness and a subsequent sense of stewardship.
Gregory Brellochs is a Philadelphia based artist, professor, and the Visual and Performing Art Chair at Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey. Brellochs’ work has been recognized through awards such as the 2018 Meyer’s Family Award for Contemporary Arts, the Center for Emerging Visual Artists CDP Fellowship, the Wind Challenge Exhibition Series at Fleisher Art Memorial, and the William D. Davis Award for Drawing at the Art of the State Exhbition in Harrisburg, PA. Brellochs has held numerous solo exhibitions and has been featured in a number of prestigious juried and curated group exhibitions both regionally and nationally. His work is included in the contemporary drawings collections of the Viewing Program through The Drawing Center in New York City. Brellochs earned his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.