Greg Ito embraces a graphic visual style to create cinematic paintings and installations that address themes of time, love, loss, hope, and tragedy. A gifted storyteller, the artist incorporates personal and family narratives into his dense compositions, such as his grandparents’ forced relocation to concentration camps during World War II. During their internment at the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona, their romance blossomed, offering light during dark days, a recurring motif.
Ito’s work imagines dream-like worlds inspired by his hometown of Los Angeles and opens portals to alternate timelines where daily life dilates into fantasy. The artist draws from an ever-expanding lexicon of symbols and imagery ranging from burning candles, keyholes, and windows, to snakes, moons, and suns. Ito uses a distinct palette of off-nature colors to depict scenes of wildfires, disaster, and destruction, that simultaneously asserts an optimistic outlook in uncertain times as he fills his work with icons of new life—growing vines, flittering butterflies, and transcendent skies.
Greg Ito (b. 1987, Los Angeles, CA) earned his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2008. His work has been exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions at galleries including Maki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, CA; Division Gallery, Montreal, QC; Arsenal Contemporary, Toronto, ON; Jeffrey Deitch New York, NY; Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, CA; Et al, San Francisco, CA; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts – YBCA, San Francisco, CA. A forthcoming solo exhibition at the new Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego will open in 2022. Ito lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.