Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gary Hansmann, Artist, RIP

I just found out that my friend Gary Hansmann passed away on December 22.  Gary was an artist.  He was big, explosive, impulsive, loud, obnoxious, and generous.  Gary would agree wholeheartedly with all but that last.  He was a Individual (with a capital "I") in a world that didn't necessarily appreciate individuals.  Gary loved fine art, fine drinks, fine food, Paris, cats, and friends.

I learned etching from Gary.  He taught me, not only the techniques, but also the mental approach.  Art, good art, is not something you just throw off.  You come at it like a priest comes to church.  You give it your all and you make it as good as you can.  Expression is important, because without expression it is nothing.  But technique is important, too: technique is the sum knowledge of all the other master artists who have gone before you.  And if you're not willing to give it your all in either expression or technique, then get the hell out of here because you're wasting everybody else's time.

Gary and I swapped emails shortly before I came out here to Baghdad.  He was pissed at me.  He thought I was abandoning my art, my principles, for money.  That was not the case, but Gary was never one to hold his feelings back, and I never expected anything less from him.  And I always valued his thoughts.

The obituary says that Gary died choosing "scotch over chemotherapy and still beating the estimate by nearly four months."  That's classic Gary.  "The hell with the doctors, I'm going out the way I want."

If you're an artist, raise a glass to Gary.  One of our own, one of our finest, has passed on.

6 comments:

geniemuse said...

Hugs, Skip.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/31/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Shea said...

Sorry about the loss of your friend, and everyone needs money, unfortunately

gregsdigital said...

Skip,
Thank you for the kind words you posted about my Father Gary. I am glad to know that someone out there will remember him and is kind enough to post about him. Take care and never give up on youre art. YEs we all need money but that is only superficial BS :-)
Greg Hansmann

Paul Edelstein Studio & Gallery said...

Hi I just found some works on paper I bought from your ,dad.. Sincerely, Paul Edelstein, Memphis Tennessee.

Greg Hansmann said...

Just found? We're they lost or misplaced? I have over 5000 of his works and am a bit overwhelmed with the thought of promoting it right now. I am hoping one day soon I will aquire the gumption. Maybe it's partially heriditary :-)
Be safe Paul.