All Walks of Life: Gary Anthes

Artists come from all walks of life. Not all artists start out as artists; some begin their education or careers in other fields, and then realize later on that they are in a place that isn’t fully what they want in life. Here at the Studio Gallery, a few of our artists come from completely non-art-related backgrounds.

Over the course of the summer I will be asking our diverse artists to answer four questions to better understand what their backgrounds are, and how they decided to go into art as a career. Keep reading to get to know our interesting photographer Gary Anthes.

What is your background?

“I have a degree in math and an MBA. Until mid-career I worked as a computer programmer, business analyst, and general business manager. I then switched to journalism and spent the balance of my professional working days as a reporter and writer. At about that time I also became interested in photography. I still do some freelance writing now, mostly about computer technology.”

Why did you decide to become an artist?

“I took up photography in a serious way in 1999, when I joined my daughter for a high school photo workshop. I assumed the practices of an artist – books, gallery shows, and the like – gradually over time. I actually don't use the term “artist” to describe myself. I'm delighted when others see me that way, but I avoid applying the term “art” to my own work as it's a word I can't define.”

At the Top and the Bottom, photograph

Santiago de Cuba, February 2016 No.2, Photograph

How has your background influenced your artwork?

“I love math, science, and computer programming because those are supremely creative endeavors, and of course art is also. I think math and computer science have shaped my aesthetic preference for images that are simple, neat, and well-ordered, without extraneous elements. Perhaps paradoxically, I love mystery in a photograph, and maybe that's a rebellion against the order and certainty I find in math and science, a reminder that math and science can't answer all questions.”

“I combine writing and photography now, producing a book every year or two that often merges the two. My Studio Gallery show in 2020 will pair each photograph with a small written essay or explanation. I believe that writing can amplify photography and vice versa. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a word may be worth a thousand pictures.”

Glacier National Park 2009, photograph

What currently inspires your artwork the most?

“The work of other artists, not all of them photographers. There are too many to mention, but I have been influenced by the painters Whistler, Wyeth, and Hopper, and by the photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson and Dorothea Lange.”

My Post.jpg

If you love Gary’s work, come admire his work in his upcoming solo exhibition at Studio Gallery. the show will be open from Wednesday, June 26th, at 1pm until Saturday, July 20th, at 6pm. On Saturday, June 29th, from 4pm to 6pm Gary will be hosting his artist’s reception here at the Studio Gallery so come on in and meet the photographer behind these enticing works of art.

If you're unable to attend the artist's reception, that's alright! Stop by for First Friday on July 5th to take in all of his art from 6pm to 8pm.


From staff contributor Bri Hooijberg.