Approximately 20 people filled the small white-walled room beneath the Jane Newbery shop for the opening of “Dulwich Walks”.
The Artist and Illustrator of “Dulwich Walks”, Greg Becker, was an attentive host and was met by many friends for the private viewing on 20 March.
“Dulwich Walks” was inspired by the walks that Becker takes around the area. The pieces in this showing are all tied together by the strong narrative aspects Becker portrays. Even if the work doesn’t have a figure in it, Becker suggests the hint of a story.
“I quite often get up in the morning and I won’t really know what I’m going to do that day, so I’ll go for a walk and I might see something that triggers a memory or something specific that I see on that day that I might want to try and turn into a picture,” Becker said.
Many of his paintings work to convey Becker’s own idiosyncratic view of the world. He works to show that our place in the universe is quite small, a significant one, but a small one. Many of his illustrations lean towards being more humorous.
“I’m not that happy being that serious all of the time and I’m not that happy being really frivolous all of the time,” Becker said. “I like to strike a balance really.”
One obstacle that he has come across as an artist is the infamous creative block. On his blog, he recently published a post about overcoming it.
“When you’re in [a creative block], it always feels like you’re never going to paint another picture or you’re never going to do anything creative again, but somehow you get around it,” Becker said. “Sometimes, even going for a walk can do the trick. ”
Becker was not always certain of what he would end up doing. He did not always want to be an artist, but became set on the path around the age of 14. Becker recently found he had something in common with Salvador Dali in that regard: Both had wanted to be Napoleon when they were around 10 years-old.
He went on to study art for eight years, finally earning his MA in Illustration from the Royal College of Arts. Becker began working on editorials for newspapers and magazines. He would be doing a political drawing one day and then the next a book review. That constant switching it up was easy for him. Since then has been doing more work for himself. Becker started out doing book covers for mostly classic children’s fairytales like Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. He has published his own books, which he finds to be not as stressful.
“You are like the composer, conductor and musician all rolled into one,” Becker said.
Art for Becker gives him the freedom to be in control of his daily work schedule. The thing about a career in art though, is that if it’s not going well, it’s completely under the artists control. After the ‘Dulwich Walks’ showcase, Becker is looking forward to getting his focus back and seeing what happens. He has no specific plans for his next project, but he said, “Until you actually get down to the nitty gritty of actually doing it, you don’t know what’s going to work.”
Becker enjoys showing locally, which has been getting easier for him to do.
“The Dulwich area is becoming generally more affluent,” Becker said. “Art is definitely getting better because you have things like the Dulwich Festival, which is really great for artists.”
His work will be on display in Jane Newbery’s gallery until 30 April.