Interview with Greg Gossel



Greg Gossel was born in 1982 in western Wisconsin. With a background in design, his work is an expressive interplay of many diverse words, images, and gestures. Gossel’s multi-layered work illustrates a visual history of change and process throughout each piece. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad, including San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, and London. His commercial clients include Levi's, Burton Snowboards, Stussy, VICE Magazine, and Interscope Records while his work has been published in The San Francisco Chronicle, Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, Artslant, and ROJO Magazine. Greg currently resides in Minneapolis, MN.



Hi Greg, today MoW selected 5 of your artworks inspired by music, can you tell MoW why did you choose to create artwork inspired by music artists ?

Each project is different, some of the pieces I've created have been commissioned projects or for music-themed shows, while others have been personal choices to incorporate iconic musicians into the work.

Can you tell MoW more about the singers and musicians you chose for your artworks ?

Music has always played an important role in my work, whether the subject matter is included in the actual work, or simply used as inspiration. Over the years various musicians that have been incorporated into my work including Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, and Jay-Z to name a few.

Do you have a favourite piece?

There's definitely individual pieces and shows that I'm happier with than others, but don't think I could ever pick a favorite. I think I would consider the Jimi Hendrix portrait from my 2011 exhibition NUMB, to be my favorite of the 5 presented pieces. It reminds me of his song "Castles Made of Sand" .

Why is music important to you? 

I'm inspired by music in a variety of ways, it can be the energy of listening to an album or song while I work, or referencing the actual layering and composition of a piece of music as it relates to my visual art.

Do you have plans on creating new artworks inspired by singers/musiciens ?

No specific plans at the moment, but I tend to work in a spontaneous manner incorporating whatever image or subject matter that strikes me in the process.

Can you tell Mow more about your techniques? How old is your technique? - How did it start? How long does it take you to make an artwork ?

It really depends on the project. I generally work on a variety of pieces at once and build them all up together. I work with a variety of mediums which are collaged, printed, painted, and then covered up and weathered away. This process leaves behind compositions of fragmented imagery, which offer a new context, narrative and sense of history within the work. My work is spontaneous and I want each finished piece to illustrate that process. I've experimented with numerous techniques over the years and try to take bits and ideas from each project to incorporate into the next. 

Do you listen to music when your working ? If so, what is the kind of music you would listen to ?

Yep, I'm always listening to music while I work. It really depends on my mood, but in general I listen to a lot of hip-hop.

What is the song you liked the most lately? What album ? What was the last gig you went to ?

I've been listening to lately, mostly older stuff at the moment like "Castles Made of Sand" by Jimi Hendrix. The last gig I was at was Queens of the Stone Age last month. 

Are you a musician yourself?

Unfortunately not a musician myself.


Check out Greg Gossel's new solo exhibition GODDAMN currently on view at White Walls Gallery in San Francisco.


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