Gregory Hergert, born in 1952 in Corvallis, OR. At the age of 17, his family relocated to Madison, NJ where he studied and earned his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. After graduating, his career as an illustrator took him to Manhattan where the ability to illustrate stories on demand was forged based on the daily job deadlines he was under; a skill he still applies every day when making his art.
“I was very fortunate after graduation to have a neighbor who was a major illustrator... [he] mentored me and got me off to a great start as a successful illustrator, which was helped by the fact that I could take a short train ride into Manhattan, which was the center of the publishing industry at that time.” —Gregory Hergert
Securing many notable jobs and awards in his early career, Gregory’s life took a turn when he took a break from his work in illustration to move to Pennsylvania taking on the role of full-time caregiver for his mother, as her health had started to deteriorate from Alzheimer's disease. This life altering experience began to implement changes in his creative thinking and over time Gregory began a gradual shift towards a career in fine arts which was perfectly timed with the growth of the Pop and Lowbrow art movements on the internet. He found inspiration in the ability to look online and instantly see all types and styles of art, this inspired him to create his own path in art over time.
Find out more about the story behind Greg's art and how he defined himself and Urban Surrealism in this interview with Chris Pothier of The Lives of the Artists.
After the passing of his mother, he met his wife Robin and moved to Portland, OR, where he secured an art studio in the then un-gentrified part of the inner city. Being directly in the heart of the day to day workings of gritty urban city life, this became an inspiration that eventually over time, slowly began to creep into the art he created. From that body of work and the positive feedback he received, he began to focus more on the movement of life in the city surrounding him and over time he founded the Urban Surrealism Art Movement.
“A city bus, a car horn, a drip of sweat as a rat scurries across the floor, hunched over the painting, the city, the imagination is Urban Surrealism.” —Gregory Hergert
Currently, Gregory lives and works in the inner city of Portland, OR with his wife Robin and their cats. On most any given day, you will find him sitting in his art studio painting and drawing, where he finds inspiration in the day to day movements of the people and animals of the city that he sees below him as he looks out of his studio window and from the daily walks he takes throughout the city.