Through rich textures, vivid colors, and dramatic contrast, Trinidadian American artist Gary Logan explores our unique relationship with the Earth and its natural elements. Logan finds visual and conceptual inspiration in two rich sources that utilize nature and landscape painting as a means of exploring the human condition. From Chinese Taoist period painters, he draws from the elements and symbolic content of fire, earth, wood, water, and metal. And, like Romantic painters of the nineteenth century, he paints to evoke a sense of the sublime – expressing mystery, raw emotion, and awe.
Logan describes his work as Neo-Romantic, situating himself in a line of artists who have embraced various aspects of the natural world to evoke powerful human emotions, spirituality, signs of human conflict or the complexity of the human condition. Logan notes, “At a time when we human beings are causing widespread environmental damage and confronting grave issues such as climate change, my work aims to be a creative catalyst that helps to remind us of our natural, psychological, and spiritual bond with our planet.”
Logan’s work also uses nature and landscape imagery as a means of navigating the complex terrain of identity and human nature. As an artist of African descent and as a gay man, various aspects of his racial/cultural heritage and sexuality are regularly interwoven into his images. These encompass fraught themes and psychological demons, but also embrace and celebrate Blackness, Gay identity, survival, and healing. “My work,” he says, “is about the Earth and its elements, as much as it is about us—the human element.”
Gary Logan was born on the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago in 1970 and was raised in the United States. He attended Boston University, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Painting. During his time in Massachusetts, he also developed a career in education and social service while initiating his career as an artist. He later relocated to New York and New Jersey for ten years, where he was employed as an art educator in various public schools, and then he subsequently lived in São Paulo, Brazil, where he advanced his art career while exploring Brazil’s diverse landscape and culture for a period of three years. After returning to the United States, he lived in Miami, Florida, further developed his body of work, and was employed as a visual arts director at a school for the arts. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington and devotes his time to his studio practice and teaching art. Along with his individual and group exhibitions in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, São Paulo, South Florida, St. Louis, and Venice his artwork has been highlighted in periodicals such as All the Art, Bostonia Magazine, and the literary journals, Callaloo and Agni. In 1999, he was awarded The Phillip Guston Prize along with poet Eric McHenry for their artist collaboration featured in Agni.