GREGORY JAMES THOMAS
Gregory James Thomas’ paintings, drawn from three bodies of work created in 2022, address themes of residency, perspective, and movement. Early in the year Thomas painted works reflecting views of entrance and exit paths from different residences seen during their time working as an Amazon delivery driver.
Select pieces in this series were created during an artist-in-residence program in Vallauris, France. The paintings depict the local streets and avenues of Vallauris, named after the people who inhabited those dedicated areas.
The most recent paintings are more imaginative – conceived from personal photos – and represent residency and space through abstraction.
These works convey a sense of being an outsider, being able to visit a site while being excluded from the interior workings. Thomas invites viewers to wonder what lies behind a painted door, beyond an exit sign, beyond what can and can’t be seen from the street.
Gregory James Thomas is an Oakland based artist currently focusing on fine arts. Born and raised in the Bay Area, they attended Sonoma State University and graduated with a degree in history and an interest in oil painting. They identify as queer, black, and gender non-conforming. This is the first group show they have had the pleasure of being included in. They would like to thank Jill Mclennan and Mercury 20 Gallery for the opportunity.
OSCAR A. RAMIREZ
“Although I do not know what it means, or why I should keep coming back to it, I can remember it clearly (for some reason it must be important) – the first time I wove. Though it wasn’t my first time manipulating strings, it awoke something deep within the fibers of my essence. I felt like a spider. I felt beautiful. I felt feminine.” Oscar Ramirez
Oscar Ramirez’s ancestors were spiders as well. They were weavers, some of the first to create with natural fibers. La naturaleza fed, clothed, and informed their ancestors. Plants were used medicinally to heal their people, and they provided the materials needed to clothe and protect. Textiles felt natural and familiar. Ramirez’s materials are their ancestors. They are Ramirez’s teacher, friend, and mother. Ramirez’s work has provided them with the tools to love and care for themself. Textiles and painting has given them the language to merge their ancestral past to their modern identity.
Oscar A. Ramirez is a multi-disciplinary artist based in San Francisco, exploring their personal and familial identity, through painting and textiles, to create intimate windows into their emotional landscape. The work documents the networks of their Salvadoran community in order to begin to archive an authentic history of home and identity. Beginning as a painter, Ramirez soon found textiles as another way to connect with their ancestral roots and family.