ART GUY * GUY ART
By Ed. Lange
Geurin’s Latest Show Opens at Kismet Gallery Halloween at Troy Night Out
He doesn’t look like an artist. Standing six feet two in his flannel shirt and jeans, with stubbled chin and tousled hair, there isn’t a shred of anything effete about him. A few hundred years ago he’d be taken for a dashing swordsman on the way to rescue an innocent damsel. In the Old West, he’d cut the figure of a laconic lawman standing firm against injustice. During World War II he’d be cast as the hard-bitten veteran sergeant with cigar stub clenched between his teeth. Today, maybe a lumberjack or a Delta Force Black Ops operative. No one who met him on the street would think him an artist.
But maybe that’s as it oughta be. Because David P. Geurin’s increasingly popular artwork doesn’t fit the mold of “traditional art” either. Inspired by comics, cartoons and graphic novels, science fiction and horror, pop culture and film, Geurin’s work merges (or maybe morphs) them all together into a distinctive, entertaining style that recalls those germinal forms while growing into something new – and fun. As Dave says, “I just want people to enjoy it. To look at it, and maybe for a minute feel like a kid again, seeing a comic or a monster for the first time.”
Monsters and zombies and ghouls, oh my!
To categorize Dave Geurin’s pieces strictly as paintings can be inaccurate. Most often, he provokes his audience, which he describes as “anyone who enjoys fun, scary things, from kids to adults,” into seeing a comic or a monster for the first time by using a mixture of media. The base of one of his original paintings of a monster, an alien, a robot, or a zombie may be the slyly-selected page of a comic book that has been applied to a solid base. Often he adds three-dimensional elements to further awaken the eye, the imagination and the creepy chills.
Geurin’s work has enjoyed popular and commercial success at a number of solo shows in the Capital Region. Pieces may be found at The Silver Birch on Delaware Avenue near the Spectrum Theater in Albany and in Troy at The Paper Sparrow on River Street and Kismet Gallery on 4th Street. The Upstate Artists Guild recently closed their collaborative show, “POW! An Exhibition of Comics and Illustrations”, where several of his pieces were on display by invitation.
His latest one-man show will open on Halloween at Kismet for a one-month run on as part of a Troy Night Out that may turn out to be a Vampirian Stroll to rival Troy’s famed Victorian Stroll. This is appropriate, as Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian elected to own of one of Geurin’s works. Furthermore, Geurin has yet another show opening on another Troy Night Out on November 28, “Black Friday”, at the Paper Sparrow.
Although he studied art at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Dave credits his late father, Joseph, for comics, drawing materials and those all-important “attaboys” that are so essential between father and son. With a touch of chagrin, he credits the patience and tolerance of two high school art teachers—Walter Lipka and Joanne Gramaglia for training and encouragement.
In the here and now, however, Geurin honors his colleagues in the regional arts community for their unceasing support, encouragement and enthusiasm for him and his work. In a tender moment, he says of his inspiration, “I just have a strong desire to create, and my fiancé, Kate, gives me the strength and courage to do this by simply by being herself and believing in me.”
Kate’s belief in him is proving to be very well-founded as galleries are requesting Geurin’s work more and more frequently, and his popularity continues to grow based on purchases by patrons for themselves or their sci-fi fascinated children. In a world where “starving artist” has become a cliché, Dave supplements his mixed media paintings by doing special makeup effects for local filmmakers, designing logos and t-shirts for hardcore rock bands and even sculpting heads of zombies and other delightful ghoulies. As he looks to the future, Geurin hopes to gain a wider audience by offering reasonably priced prints and producing t-shirts with some of his more entertaining, heroic or gruesome characters and images.
Having worked with artists, and as being one most of my life, I can attest to the infinite variety of people who are compelled to live the confounding life of performing artists, visual artists, architects, writers and poets, composers and the rest. Dave Geurin may not look the part, but like all successful artists he possesses the heart and soul of an artist – a possession that is both blessing and curse. For to be given the blessing to be an artist is also to be cursed by not having a choice to be one or not. Artists do not choose to be artists, because as Cmdr. Spock would say, “It is most illogical.” The art chooses them and only in the rarest of cases can the seduction be resisted. Dave didn’t resist the seduction and the art world is all the more exciting because of it.
A freelance writer, three of Ed. Lange’s plays were finalists for national Audie Awards, in 2000, ’05, and ’07, and one of the three won. His articles have appeared multiple times in national magazines: Sail, Soundings, American Theatre, and Dramatics.