Arts & Culture / Mosaic / May 1, 2008

Inspired by architecture and spray paint, Leibach develops his unique style

Greg Leibach focused on art and education and his paintings reflect an “appreciation for geometric abstraction,” said Liebach. Part of Leibach’s inspiration comes from blueprints. He “considered being an architect, [but] moved away from that for a fine arts degree.”

Leibach’s paintings show his fascination with buildings, both for their grandeur and their history. Leibach was inspired by the “little instances that we encounter with architecture. Spaces where a cit of history is removed [for us to see].”

Leibach literally builds his paintings. They are made on Masonite board, undergoing many layers of paint and tape before the final product is complete. Leibach will start a building or space in mind and create a “tape drawing of one perspective on that area,” he paints over the tape drawing and the starts on “a new layer of tape with a different perspective on that building,” he said. The painting continues on with layers of tape and paint. Leibach uses spray paint, house paint on rollers, and different types and sizes of tape. These layers not only add to the depth of the painting, they also create the illusion of the layers of history Leibach is fond of.

Liebach’s paintings have evolved as Leibach played with ideas of how the final product should appear. He found his change in style came from the “matter of finding the right stopping point,” he said. In his newer pieces Leibach chose to remove some tape and leave other pieces on, giving the paintings a texture. His newer pieces are more spontaneous said Leibach.

“I’m proud of my work because I feel it is relatively unique… I find it interesting to continually explore it and find what it can do,” said Liebach.

While the paintings start with a distinct image, Leibach does not find it necessary for the audience to be able to identify it in the end, the importance of the specifics are more important to him personally, than for the audience to understand the painting.

The paintings Leibach has on display are very controlled, but he also works with spray paint in more casual ways. Leibach enjoys making landscape with spray paint. These paintings are made quickly, as Leibach manipulates the paint while it is still wet, and is less worried about their precision. He makes these paintings at the market in his hometown of St. Louis.

Leibach loves working with spray paint because of the shiny smooth texture of it as well as it’s flexibility and that it blends easily.

He sees “spray paint becoming a more accepted art form,” as mixed media has “exploded in this idea of freedom of what you can incorporate [into your art].”

Klayr Valentine-Fossum

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