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b. 1987, United States

Greg Ito Biography

In his characteristically flat, graphic style, Greg Ito paints dreamlike worlds that weave together the familiar symbols of animals, plant life, and the stars to convey stories of love, loss, hope, and tragedy.

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Education

Ito received his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2008.

Artworks

While Ito's paintings on regular and shaped canvases may appear silkscreened or digitally painted at first glance, they are in fact hand-painted with occasional aid from masking tape. Deriving from his paintings, Ito's sculptures are similarly saturated in colour and often feature a neon light element.

Family

Ito frequently draws inspiration from his family history, dating back to his grandparents' meeting at Japanese internment camps during the Second World War. Themes of love and hope in times of violence are some of the recurring themes in his work, as manifest in the artist's juxtaposition of light and dark and motifs that produce contrasting meanings such as the plant life for peace and life and fires for destruction.

Motifs

A repertoire of motifs recur throughout Ito's paintings and sculptures. Celestial bodies, usually consisting of the red sun or a yellow crescent moon inside a black orb, sometimes appear together in one painting. The goldfish and falling ginkgo leaves reference the artist's ancestry, a fourth-generation American of Japanese heritage, while wildfires or California poppies allude to his home in California.

Windows

The window is one of Ito's most prominent motifs. Many of his conventionally rectangular canvases feature a painted window frame, offering a view looking out to the fantastic world or into an equally mysterious interior. Shaped canvases, on the other hand, may resemble circular and arch windows. A row of five arch window-shaped canvases form the painting Motion Picture (2021), which appears to simultaneously describe and outdoor and indoor scene comprising a sunset, a wildfire in the distance, and a small model of the earth with a fire underneath, while ginko leaves and poppies frame the top and bottom of the painting.

Butterflies

In Apparition, Ito's solo exhibition at Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, in 2021, butterflies were among the artist's favoured symbols to appear throughout the works. A large butterfly takes the sun and the moon as its eyespots at the centre of Bloom, while its smaller counterpart flutters in the bottom-left corner of Heat Wave that depicts a cloud of fire in the distance (both 2021). Ito also collaborated with a hatchery in South Bay to grow butterfly cocoons in the show, introducing living butterflies to the exhibition that, once fully hatched, would follow lights to fly outside the gallery.

Exhibitions

Greg Ito has exhibited his works in solo and group exhibitions internationally.

Selected solo exhibitions include All You Can Carry, Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2022); Apparition, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles (2021); Enchantment, Arsenal Contemporary, Toronto (2019); Time Traveler, Public Lands, Sacramento, California (2018); Soothsayer, Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2016); and when you thought it would last forever..., The Popular Workshop, San Francisco (2013).

Selected group exhibitions include Good Company: The Remix, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles (2021); L.A.: Views, MAKI Gallery, Tokyo (2020); The Flat Files, The Pit, Los Angeles (2020); The Private Collection of Water McBeer, Jeffrey Deith, New York (2018); Time Flies Like A Banana, Johannes Vogt, New York (2015); BAN7, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2014).

Website

Greg Ito's website can be found here and Ito's Instagram can be found here.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2024

Greg Ito
featured artworks

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Sink or Swim by Greg Ito contemporary artwork painting
Greg Ito Sink or Swim, 2024 Acrylic on canvas over panel
241.3 x 716.28 cm
Anat Ebgi Request Price & Availability
Farewell by Greg Ito contemporary artwork painting
Greg Ito Farewell, 2024 Acrylic on canvas over panel
127 x 127 cm
Anat Ebgi Request Price & Availability
A World Revealed by Greg Ito contemporary artwork painting
Greg Ito A World Revealed, 2023 Acrylic on canvas over panel
152.4 x 121.92 cm
Anat Ebgi Request Price & Availability
The Giving Tree by Greg Ito contemporary artwork painting
Greg Ito The Giving Tree, 2023 Acrylic on canvas over panel
84 x 72 inches
Anat Ebgi Request Price & Availability
We Can't Promise Forever by Greg Ito contemporary artwork painting
Greg Ito We Can't Promise Forever, 2023 Acrylic on canvas over panel
40 x 30 inches
Anat Ebgi Request Price & Availability
The Light That Surrounds Us by Greg Ito contemporary artwork painting
Greg Ito The Light That Surrounds Us, 2022 Acrylic on canvas over panel
48 x 36 inches
Sold
Anat Ebgi
Burn and Bloom by Greg Ito contemporary artwork painting
Greg Ito Burn and Bloom, 2021 Acrylic on canvas over panel
152.4 x 96.5 cm
Sold
Anat Ebgi
The Ascending Flame by Greg Ito contemporary artwork painting
Greg Ito The Ascending Flame, 2021 Acrylic on canvas over panel
129.5 x 129.5 cm
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Anat Ebgi
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Greg Ito
current & recent
exhibitions

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Represented by this
Ocula Member Gallery

Anat Ebgi contemporary art gallery in Mid Wilshire, Los Angeles, United States
Anat Ebgi Los Angeles, New York
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