Gregory Fricker uses art to study neuroscience related to trauma and painful memories. After retiring from the military, he attended Michigan State University where he earned a BFA in studio art. He is a multi-media artist and United States Army veteran based in Michigan who initially began creating art as a hobby and a way to cope with a particularly bad deployment. After a successful exhibit and several commissions, he refined his process with the support of his teachers nad mentors at MSU. Throughout his portfolio, he shares with us his own traumatic memories using symbolic objects. By avoiding specific depictions, he creates an emotional buffer against the discomfort of the trauma and allows his viewers to interpret to his compositions using their own memories.
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About The Artist
My current series is deeply rooted in the neuroscience behind the storage of traumatic memory. Traumatic memories are stored as a collection of fragmented sensory data rather than easily recalled narratives. Instead of an ordered transcript of events leading up to a specific moment, we remember a smell, a taste, a sound, or the ghostly sensation of an unexpected substance on our hands. While recalling these sensations, the area of our brain responsible for verbal communication begins to falter. These paintings are a discussion of what it's like trying to communicate these disjointed experiences when someone asks me "what happened over there."
The individual elements of each painting aren't meant to be literal. They're a sort of personal mythology formed of emotional equivalencies. Each rendered thing is a proxy for another thing. I do this for two reasons. Firstly, it allows me to communicate with the viewer without forcing my ideas on them. Secondly, it provides an emotional buffer against the discomfort inherent in recalling these sensations. My intention is to share my memories while allowing enough ambiguity for each painting to mean whatever it needs to mean to you. I believe the artist and the viewer are each responsible for half of a painting's meaning.
Michigan State University
Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2018
Wayne State UniversityMaster of Arts, 2021