"Farm Series" by Greg Ragland at Lagerquist Gallery
Greg Ragland’s New “Farm Series” This series of paintings immortalizes farm animals through stylized portraits. These portraits bring the barnyard home. Painted with acrylic on canvas each painting combines abstraction and realism creating an environment for his animals to live in. The backgrounds are beautifully developed abstracts with juicy textures and sensual color juxtaposed to nearly photo realistically painted animals. In Ragland's creative tool box he makes use of combining abstraction and realism that demonstrates a thorough understanding of both media and skill. He makes use of exaggerated perspectives taking liberties with the distortion of each animal to hold the viewers attention.
For this series Greg chose to continue the square format he prefers to utilizes when wanting to gain the most control over the viewers gaze. The square is consider by many artists the most challenging of canvas shapes because inherently it focuses the viewers eye toward the center. Taking this given, Greg purposely aligns to center some part of his animal subject matter, then masterfully pulls and tugs you away toward the paintings edge before you are drawn back to the beginning or focus of the piece. His use of the square format as well as wrapping the painting around the edges gives this body of work a very contemporary feeling.
Each animal with their own personality locks their eyes on the viewer and does not let go. They follow us with their eyes throughout the room seemingly catching a drift of our scent and size us up. These portraits of farm animals decked out in costumes made of feathers, wool, and hair, some cute and cuddly, others gentle or aloof are intriguing lovable friends to share your home with. Each one speaks to us telling stories with their unique, expressive body language.
Living rural keeps Greg in touch with the animals in his neighborhood. A keen observer, Greg picks up on the subtleties in the animals he portrays, finding charm even in the simplest of nuances such as a crooked ear or whiskers on a nose. He says that they remind him of our past, present and future and how we rely on one another. The “Farm Series” with all its spectacular personalities are perfect pets to hang on your walls. You may view these paintings at Lagerquist Gallery in Atlanta GA.