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Life & Work with Gary Hall

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gary Hall.

Hi Gary, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was a young white male in 1970 America. I worked for a neighbor, Rollin Furry, on Eagle Mountain Road, in his house painting business. My first son Bret was 1. I was 18. At 19, I went out on my own and created a business which both let me work for myself and make enough money in a short amount of quality intense hard-working time, to take care of my side of the family budget and bought me serious time to work in my studio with my Art and to create over 20 full series of paintings, each building on the last for over 50 years. Gary Hall House Painting worked for me for 35 years. After full scholarships from the Disney Foundation and from the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, and the momentum of my MFA from Cal-Arts, three one-man shows in L.A., several group shows, I was runner-up, twice, for the L.A. County Museum of Art new talent award, the head Art Critic for the L.A.

Times wrote that my paintings “carry amazing authority and an underlying poetry that set Hall apart from most artists of his generation”, a couple of weeks before he shot himself. (PHOTO 1A) I was told by its curators that I would be in the Whitney Biennial. I moved to New York, built a studio on the lower eastside, and had a studio visit from Mary Boone. I didn’t make the cut. I wasn’t included in the biennial, I had some off-Broadway shows, a good uptown 2 person show with Jan Green at ACA, a good 1 man show at Jan Turner gallery in L.A., (Photo 2B) came home after 8 years, (PHOTO 2A) rebuilt my life, had a final show at the Brewery and went to my studio to continue my Art.

In the meantime, I read the first Harry Potter book to my 7-year-old son, Garrison, went into my studio to make him a magic wand, got a computer and created with a little help from my best friends and my beautiful family. Photo 3A, 4A, 5A,6A

Whirlwood Magic Wands Co. has been a personal success, even as my Art is waiting to be.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I have lived my life, as arguably the freest middle-class man to ever walk the face of the earth. My mother arrived on a mattress on top of a model T, we won the war, I lived in a brand new home, my high school actually had an Art department. I liked my Art. So did Paul Brock and Allan Kaprow, and the Disney Foundation and several dealers and writers and friends along the way. Like most of my friends, our work was better than our Art World skills. Our set of wounds and weaknesses both worked against us and drew us inside so they were also a big part of why we became artists. I had every advantage anyone could ask for and my career is not over. I try to figure out an in route for my work with me as my agent, riding in on top of a model T. That is my obstacle. My agent. And of course, my work could not be as good as I think it is, which as I understand it, is every artist’s true fear.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My work has been to do my Art and to believe in it. To not be too selfish. To make enough money, through my house painting business, De Kooning was a house painter, just not for 35 years, and my magic wand business for over 15 years now, to provide my share of our family’s finances.

What matters most to you? Why?
My family, and its wellbeing. My art, and the freedom to make it.


  • My selected Current Works-$5-10,000

Contact Info:

Image Credits
G. Hall

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