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Gregory Forstner Main Profile Image

Gregory Forstner

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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Painting • Born in Douala, Cameroon • Studied at Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria | Villa Arson (ENSBA), Nice, France | École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, France
 3

"FUCK SANDY!"

One night I caught my youngest daughter, on my bed, leafing through, or rather ogling - no! her phtalocyanine eyes were licking a small Taschen book on pulp-art posters. There are pin-up girls and real guys in there, Harley Davidsons and crocodiles, girls’ tits and pistols, .44 magnums and skimpy outfits. She was relishing them, relishing. Shit, man: why not? These images are so inoffensive that I could stick everything on them from the...

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One night I caught my youngest daughter, on my bed, leafing through, or rather ogling - no! her phtalocyanine eyes were licking a small Taschen book on pulp-art posters. There are pin-up girls and real guys in there, Harley Davidsons and crocodiles, girls’ tits and pistols, .44 magnums and skimpy outfits. She was relishing them, relishing. Shit, man: why not? These images are so inoffensive that I could stick everything on them from the inside, without even noticing it. And so I saw my youngest daughter in front of these illustrations that were so offensive to her, so inoffensive to me, and I told myself these illustrations were soft enough, empty enough that I could start from them to redirect painting.

The following day, I got going on a first painting, 250 by 200 centimeters, a blonde girl with a pistol pointed at the viewer - here, me. She’s sporting a khaki-colored safari bikini. I could fuck her! I gave her beautiful hips. She’s got a bush helmet, the kind people imagine in Africa. BAM! Two hours later, BAM! I’m done! I start another painting. A girl and her pimp behind a gaming table, the green and red tokens piled up in front of the guy. He’s having a smoke, she’s having a smoke; she’s sitting on his lap. She’s a cadmium blonde, he’s wearing a sailor hat. Nobody’s buying it, but still you’re sure about her, she’s a whore, and the guy means no good. Her dress is a flashy red, that girl is easy - an easy painting? The cigarette smoke goes this way and that. Smoke, it’s so beautiful in painting. Smoke in painting is a gesture that loses itself in gesture. It’s a gesture that gets lost in the painting’s background and then moves on. Its scope reveals the space of the subject. Mimicking smoke is like discovering the fart in painting, or foaming beer, it’s the breath held in the wrist. It’s exhilarating and so easy to do when you know the direction of the air in the painting. If you don’t know the tune, then you mess up every goddamn time. But when you know its song, the wrist turns in the right direction and goes where the air is going. There is no need for effect. It’s the beauty of a gratuitous gesture. It’s a treat in the spirit of a gallant gesture. BAM! Another two hours, the painting’s done. I step back as deep as the studio will let me - 10, 12 meters… Damn! There’s something missing, above the guy, on the wall above him, there’s something missing… Hmmm, right, that’s it! He wants to fuck her, I’d forgotten all about that! I’d gotten lost in the smoke! In fresh paint, I draw a guy with a big hairy dick ejaculating… No, it’s stupid enough, but it doesn’t work. Shit! I erase him with the back of my hand, to find the background of the wall. All right... So, he wants to fuck her… FUCK! That’s it, that’s all he’s thinking about! I write “FUCK” on the wall, on the background of the painting, but that’s not enough… Fuck who? what? What’s her name? I need a name, an idiotic name, a damned stupid name that says “pussy,” that says “blonde,” that says “bitch.” I write “SANDY,” “FUCK SANDY,” in capital letters. That’s it: for an easy blonde, Sandy’s good! Then I realize that Sandy is the hurricane that destroyed my beach in New York. It was Hurricane Sandy that destroyed my corner of freedom. Since then, we can’t go there, we have to remain on the other side of a fence with a Park Ranger sweating his ass off in the brutal heat standing by. I bought a car just so I could get to this beach with my family. To go swim and surf in peace… Sure I was able to get to Far Rockaway on the subway, but the surfers over there are as rude as New York City cab drivers. And the spot is tiny; everyone is fighting for the same wave. Still I like it: all languages are spoken there - Mandarin, Spanish, German, etc. But on my beach, I have the waves to myself, the horizon to myself, the entire space to myself… But Sandy came through. I’m taking revenge, I write “FUCK SANDY!” in capital letters. So: two 250-by-200-centimeter paintings in four hours. I’m happy with myself. I’m a good swimmer; I swam well! Everything was there: the smoke, the whore, that stupid guy and the air in the studio inside the painting. That’s what I see. I hope other people will see what I see and much more still. You can’t be complicated when things are working out, it’s cool, everything’s cool when a painting runs smoothly; it’s like a beer in the scorching heat. A cold Leffe dark ale that goes to your head under the sun. Or it’s the smell of meat. One day a buddy told me that my painting had the smell of meat. I found this magnificent; I hadn’t thought of that! Painting in a breath. Sure suits me! I’m not complicated. With me, red meat should be eaten well done.

Fuck Sandy | 2013 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Fuck Sandy | 2013 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

L'hôtesse de l'air 17 | 2007 | 162 x 130cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

L'hôtesse de l'air 17 | 2007 | 162 x 130cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

L'hôtesse de l'air 16 | 2007 | 162 x 130 cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

L'hôtesse de l'air 16 | 2007 | 162 x 130 cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

L'hôtesse de l'air 13 | 2007 | 162 x 130cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

L'hôtesse de l'air 13 | 2007 | 162 x 130cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

The Birthday Party (Le Cosmonaute) | 2006 | 250 x 600cm | Oil on linen

The Birthday Party (Le Cosmonaute) | 2006 | 250 x 600cm | Oil on linen

The Fireman | 2010 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

The Fireman | 2010 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

The Dog Walker | 2015 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen

The Dog Walker | 2015 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen

Rain Dog or the Umbrella Man 2 | 2010 | 250 x x200cm | Oil on linen

Rain Dog or the Umbrella Man 2 | 2010 | 250 x x200cm | Oil on linen

The Ship of Fools father and son going fishing | 250 x 400cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

The Ship of Fools father and son going fishing | 250 x 400cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Galerie Kromus+Zink | Berlin | 2013

Galerie Kromus+Zink | Berlin | 2013

Exhibition Rain Dogs | Galerie Kromus+Zink | Berlin | 2011

Exhibition Rain Dogs | Galerie Kromus+Zink | Berlin | 2011

Gregory Forstner Solo Show | Musée de Grenoble | 2009

Gregory Forstner Solo Show | Musée de Grenoble | 2009

Gregory Forstner Solo Show | Musée de Grenoble | 2009

Gregory Forstner Solo Show | Musée de Grenoble | 2009

Gregory Forstner Solo Show | Musée de Grenoble | 2009

Gregory Forstner Solo Show | Musée de Grenoble | 2009

Four Legs Good Two / Two Legs Better | 2015 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | TIA Collection USA

Four Legs Good Two / Two Legs Better | 2015 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | TIA Collection USA

Four Legs Good Two / Two Legs Better 2 | 2015 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen

Four Legs Good Two / Two Legs Better 2 | 2015 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen

A childhood memory 3 | 2015 | 72,5 x 92,5cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

A childhood memory 3 | 2015 | 72,5 x 92,5cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Déjeuner sur l'herbe | 2015 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Déjeuner sur l'herbe | 2015 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

The Melancholy of my father | 2006 | 61 x 50cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

The Melancholy of my father | 2006 | 61 x 50cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Coming back home / Tea for two | 2009 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | FRAC Base-Normandie

Coming back home / Tea for two | 2009 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | FRAC Base-Normandie

Thanksgiving | 2015 | 195 x 162cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Thanksgiving | 2015 | 195 x 162cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Le Festin de Bacchus 6 | 2011 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen

Le Festin de Bacchus 6 | 2011 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen

Study for an American Archetype | 2011 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Study for an American Archetype | 2011 | 250 x 200cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Variation for a new american archetype - The prince of bed study 2 | 2010 | 61 x 50cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Variation for a new american archetype - The prince of bed study 2 | 2010 | 61 x 50cm | Oil on linen | Private Collection

Studio Gregory Forster NYC 2010 © Pascal Bejean

Studio Gregory Forster NYC 2010 © Pascal Bejean

Studio Gregory Forster NYC 2010 © Pascal Bejean

Studio Gregory Forster NYC 2010 © Pascal Bejean

Gregory Forster 2006 at NY © Etienne Frossard

Gregory Forster 2006 at NY © Etienne Frossard


WORKS IN COLLECTIONS

Collection SACEM

FRAC Alsace

FRAC Basse-Normandie

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PUBLICATIONS

L'odeur de la viande

The Ship Of Fools - 2009 - Musée de Grenoble - Galerie Zink / Verlag Für Moderne Kunst, 136p - Texts: Guy Tosatto, Ludwig Seyfart, Eckhardt Momber, Gregory Forstner (français/anglais/allemand)

Easyover - 2007 - édition du MAMAC, Nice, 96p - Texts: Gilbert Perlein, Joseph Mouton, Stéphanie Katz (français/anglais/allemand)

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