The artist and designer Rogan Gregory is something of an enigma, or perhaps a shape-shifter.
After making his name in the fashion world with an eponymous clothing collection that earned him the 2007 Vogue/CFDA fashion fund award, and a subsequent sustainable fashion label, Loomstate, Gregory struck out on a new path, moving his studio to Los Angeles and embarking upon a career as a sculptor and maker of evocative objects, both functional and non-functional. Calling these works ‘objects’ is a little bit like calling the creations of Rick Owens clothes. Gregory’s works seem to be culled from some deep primal place, echoing the more austere and surreal realms of the natural world. A person of few words, Gregory cites the ocean and waves as one major source of inspiration, which was just one reason his work felt like an apt fit for NeueHouse Venice Beach, our newest house just blocks from the beach, and one in no short supply of noteworthy design features meant to create an inspiring environment for our creatively inclined members. We caught up with the artist at his studio as he and his team were putting the finishing touches on his sculptural light work to learn more about his practice, process, and where he finds inspiration.
Is there a story behind this particular sculptural form?
The intent is to introduce a form to the rectilinear built environment that engages the primitive ancestral parts of the brain. The gesture of the forms welcome visual, physical, and emotional engagement.
How does a form begin for you?
It usually begins between REM periods pre-dawn.
What are the stages from the initial concept to the final finished piece?
I usually begin with one concept, but welcome the material and environmental factors to guide me elsewhere.
Do forms repeat? Do they evolve?
I enjoy repetition, but not replication. I live to find shape, form, and gesture that work in syncopation. As the eye travels along the surface, the light and form ebbs and flows like water or music.
How do you know when a piece is done?
It’s never done.
What type of experience do you want people to have with your works?
Personal and emotional.
What’s the strangest source of inspiration you’ve incorporated?
I try to incorporate organic material such as bone, keratin (scales, nails, feathers, claws, hooves, skin cells), and some bodily fluids.
How do you think moving to LA has influenced your work?
I enjoy working outside in large-scale. This is possible and in-line with the landscape of California.
As someone who has moved between different creative spheres, is there anything that you want to do that you haven’t yet had a chance?