Paul Gerben is a contemporary artists known for his mixed media compositions and celebrity portraits. Showing at galleries and art fairs all over the country, Gerben is one to watch as he moves into the international art community. Painting since a small boy, Gerben attended the Rhode Island School of Design and the Pratt Institute, always with a career in the creative sector in his aim.
How would you describe your fine art?
It is very unique because I use everything I can find, from paint, pen and ink to photography & computers. Every piece is a experiment; I never have a concrete idea of how it will turn out. I just keep playing with the piece organically until it feels right and speaks to me.
What is the life of an artist for those who may not know?
I would definitely emphasize the odd hours. I’m usually into my groove after 1-2am when everyone else is sleeping but this is just when I get my creative juices flowing!
I just feel grateful and blessed to be able to support myself financially & creatively through art instead of having a corporate 9-5 job. It involves a lot of hard work and risk, which may not be for everyone, but I wouldn’t have other any other way.
What do you want to impart with the images you create?
I like to pass along beautiful art that inspires others to a higher standard of creativity. I can also help others through my artwork donations to great charitable causes. Seeing how my creativity can help the less fortunate is very rewarding. I hope to be very charitable throughout my career.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I’m so proud to produce work that I’m personally happy with; to look back & see the body of work I have produced is an indescribable feeling of accomplishment. I am proud to say that I am prolific and create quality art pieces that others can enjoy.
How has your approach to this business changed over your 20 year career?
My art career only recently took off. I was a graphic designer & photographer for the 25 years prior. So I would say taking the slow and steady approach and exploring many different creative outlets has helped me get to where I am today with my fine art.
What influence, if any, has growing up in NYC had on your art?
Everything—NYC has a raw energy & socialness I have never found anywhere else. Its so visually stimulating just to explore and walk the streets of the different neighborhoods. Most of my art comes from the streets, textures, colors & the organic energy NYC gives off. So yes, it has a huge impact on my art.
What have you yet to achieve in your career?
I’d love to do my first huge museum show. I feel I’m ready and I have a million ideas for something unique and different.
Is there any medium you have yet to explore that tempts you?
All creative fields, from comedy stand up to live music performance hold great interest for me. I’ve been writing music & comedy for over 20 years and I would love to build the courage to perform it more often.
What type of music do you write?
The closest comparison would probably be to Cat Stevens’ music.
Is there a work of art you would like to have in your home next to your own creations?
Now that I’m doing well and my work is selling I actually have started collecting other artists work, not for investment or social status, but to support other creative artists who’s work I love. I’ve bought a Lichtenstein, Patrick Nagel and an AL Hershfield, who used to do covers for the Sunday Times, among others.
What is next for you?
I’m now starting to place art in international galleries around the world. I look forward to expanding my market in this way.
How do you take your coffee?
With marshmallows…I don’t drink coffee! Just hot chocolate.