Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Wonderful Art of Henry Schreiber

I first encountered Henry Schreiber's artwork a few years ago at the Twenty Two Gallery in Charlotte, NC. It was part of a group art show, which I believe had a monstrous theme as it was close to Halloween. Nestled in among the devil girls and Frankensteins was a painting of a marmot. But not any old marmot. This one was had a skeleton for a head and was holding his former fuzzy marmot noggin in his skeletal hands down by his waist. From that day on, I was in love.

Henry Schreiber was born in Fairfax Virginia. His childhood was spent in the suburbs of Washington DC, the mountains of West Virginia, and the gulf coast of Florida. After receiving his MFA from the University of Central Florida, Schreiber established a studio on his family's farm in the Appalachian Mountains. After two years in the mountains, he packed up his studio and moved to Charlotte, NC.

Schreiber's fascination with marmots, or groundhogs as they are more commonly known in the Eastern US, originated with his move to the “Con Place”, the family farm settled six generations ago in Ashe County, North Carolina. Groundhog spotting from the front porch has been a shared family pastime that he fell into without any hesitation. This helped inspire his incredible series of marmot paintings.

When asked by Modern Eden gallery to expand upon his love for the marmot, Henry explains, "After I got out of school, I moved to the mountains in North Carolina to dedicate time to getting better at painting. I painted everything I could during my two years there, including groundhogs. I have to admit, I had a hard time during those two years and painting these creatures, and all of their characters flaws, is really what got me through it."

But Schreiber doesn't stop at marmots. His work, inspired by classical masters Peter Paul Rubens, Eugene Delacroix, Thomas Cole, and others, explores a wide range of subject matter: elephants, squirrels, foxes, roosters, and sometimes even people! But the common theme seems to be inserting the absurd into what would otherwise be a traditional painting. IE: A rodent knight on a white steed battling a fearsome nemesis. Or, portraits of Napoleon, The Mona Lisa, and Henry VIII all replaced by groundhogs. The below painting Night Terrors is particularly amazing.

If you think the paintings are great, you should see the Marmot Chess Set that Schreiber has designed! Watch the video at the end of the article!

You can visit Henry Schreiber's website here, but to see a more complete selection of his work, I would suggest doing a Google Image search. You will be astonished by the phenomenal range and depth of his collection.

Henry currently has a solo exhibition at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco.
**Click on any pic to enlarge it!**



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