Gary Grant - Sculptor

About Me

Gary Grant - Sculptor

About Me

Gary Grant - Sculptor

About Me

How to be successful in sculpture on your own terms.

Imagine no worries about searching for commissions, grants, hanging by a thread for favourable critics’ appraisals, providing gallery owners 50% commissions. Imagine not having to worry about the day-to-day emotional roller coaster ride that all artists are burdened with, making ends meet, hoping your work is sold, planning a secure future. Imagine not being constrained by the need to produce avante garde work in order to seek recognition*.

Those are the terms and environment under which I create my artworks.

I was fortunate to spend a very special afternoon when my father took me to the home of James Gleeson. James was senior Art Critic for the Sydney Morning Herald and was one of a couple of dozen living and renowned Australian painters. He was Australia’s foremost exponent of the Surrealism movement. He later served at the National Gallery in Canberra. My Dad knew James and his family very well as he was billeted at James’ home when he left Aberdeen in Scotland at the age of 19 just before WW2.

Pictured: James Gleeson. Acknowledgement

I was 15 years old when we had this meeting with James in 1972. I took my 2metre x 1metre oil painting ‘Rise and Fall’ for him to view.

Pictured: Rise and Fall, 2metre x 1meter oil on canvas

I asked him to advise me on my options for pursuing an artistic career.

He basically said I could choose the commercial approach as a graphic designer or to work as an artist who is true to themselves and produce works that represented my own personal style and take on the world.

To be perfectly honest, both avenues did not appeal to me. In the commercial path, you are doing work for clients so they can increase their profits for their product or services.

Pursuing the life of a ‘true’ artist was also fraught with the landscape that you ‘play’ in. There is searching for commissions, grants, critics’ appraisals, gallery owners 50% commissions on the sale of your work and the day-to-day emotional roller coaster ride that all artists are burdened with. In addition, most ‘true’ artists lived on very low incomes and most needed to weave a second and possibly a third job into their life to make ends meet.

It left little room for the other major lifestyle needs many of us have: a wife, children, a house to own and holidays with the family. I have attained all of these in my life.

I embarked and completed a Degree in Fine Arts at the University of Sydney from 1975 to 1978. One could say I was very well versed in all of the Art movements, the ‘isms’ and how they developed. I knew what the mechanics were for how these systems of culture worked. How the artist worked from obscurity through to acclaim via critics and then becoming institutionalized as a ‘product’ for the wealthy to accrue immeasurable wealth and avoid tax.

I needed to look at my life as a whole and secondly to discover a way where I could create art works that enjoyed the genuine personal level appreciation by tens of thousands of people, bypassing critics’ appraisal, receiving national recognition from major TV and newspaper media, to work closely with people who seek and readily accept your services and not have to worry about money for the sale of my artwork.

How I achieved all of this is explained in each of the five major sculptures on this website.

Please read on and enjoy!

Best wishes.


*Note: While I agree it is a very worthy pursuit to forge new ground in the world of art, the environment has been slanted to such a degree, that works are only considered ‘worthy’ if they conform within this landscape in order to receive praiseworthy appraisal from art critics.

About Gary

Gary Grant has been involved in a number of special public sculptures, some of which were: 'Tree of Life' sculpture for Prince of Wales Children’s Hospital, Ronald Macdonald House Randwick; 'Star of Remembrance' sculpture for Bear Cottage Children’s Hospice Manly; 'Reconciliation' sculpture involving NSW National Parks and Wildlife with the La Perouse Aboriginal Land Council, 9/11 Decade of Remembrance' in association with the New York Tribute Center. Gary Grant has been an active member on the Executive of the Sculptors Society for 15 years.

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