Fresh from his installation of a dystopian shooting gallery in Banksy’s infamous Dismaland, Greg Haberny brings his wittily provocative vision to Angell Gallery in Toronto.
Haberny’s art is controlled chaos, a mindful mess designed to evoke the frenzied pace of contemporary mass culture. While inspired by Abstract Expressionism, CoBrA, Conceptual Art, Pop Art and Graffiti Art, among others, Haberny refuses to be boxed in. “I attempt to be defined by nothing and to defy everything,” says the artist.
Although Haberny professes no allegiance to a particular style or medium, his subject matter can be broadly categorized as a critique of contemporary American culture. “I look at details,” says Haberny, who finds inspiration in the distressed pockets of the city. Detritus he collects from the streets of New York are added to a materials bank comprised of “just about anything that I can get my hands on.” The mélange may include spray paint, oils, watercolors, enamel car paints, acrylics, glass, shredded plastic, wire, dirt and found objects ranging from junk shop finds to vintage ads to pop culture kitsch to crayons.
These Haberny variously cuts up, grinds, scrapes or breaks, then works into densely packed compositions that are a dark mirror of the underside of fast-paced consumer culture and the media barrage that assails us daily. Individual works are integrated into an installation context, analogous to scenes in a movie, an approach reflecting Haberny’s background in acting and filmmaking.
Haberny’s sardonic sensibility caught the eye of notorious artist/agent provocateur Banksy, who included Haberny in his 2010 Marks and Stencils pop up shop in Soho, NYC. Banksy describes his 2015 extravaganza, Dismaland, as “a showcase for the best artists I could imagine,” so Haberny’s inclusion in this internationally recognized art installation is a significant mark in this dynamic young artist’s career.
Greg Haberny graduated from the University of Connecticut and received his Master's degree in Media Studies/Film from Sacred Heart University. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions internationally, and he has been represented by Pictures On Walls (POW), Woolf Gallery and Lawrence Alkin Gallery in London, England, and Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, Lyons Wier Gallery and Ethan Cohen in New York City. Haberny’s work has been also sold at Phillips de Pury and Christie’s auction houses and he is represented in numerous private collections.