ABOUT THE ARTIST
GARY T. ERBE
Gary T. Erbe was born in Union City, New Jersey in 1944 and began his painting career in 1965. Erbe is a self-taught painter who developed through traditional “trompe l’oeil” to his own original, active style “levitational realism”.
From childhood on, Erbe drew and sketched portraits, conventional still lifes and impressionistic landscapes. It was not until 1970, that he committed to painting full time. This is when he discovered the 19th century “trompe l’oeil” painters William Harnett and John Frederick Peto. Experimenting led Erbe to decide that the idea of still life as an assemblage of objects could be broadened.
In 1969, his involvement with objects led Erbe to forge his own path with the idea of levitation, using “trompe l’oeil” as a foundation. He wanted to free the objects from its natural surrounding. He felt that levitating objects either separately or together would concentrate and expand their importance and break away from traditional realism. This realization led Erbe to pioneer a painting style that he calls “levitational realism”.
Gary T. Erbe’s paintings have been featured in solo exhibitions at the Butler Institute of American Art, in Ohio; the Springfield Art Museum, in Missouri; the Montclair Art Museum, in New Jersey; the Boca Raton Museum of Art, in Florida; the New Jersey State Museum, in Trenton; the New Britain Museum of American Art, in Connecticut; the Canton Art Institute, in Ohio; Albuquerque Museum, in New Mexico; and Salmagundi Club, in New York City.