Gary received a BFA from Tyler School of Art, a MFA from Syracuse University. In 1972 Gary and Carrie Golkin, an artist in her own right married. Each received fellowships to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Subsequently they moved to the New York City area and then to SOHO in New York City. In 1979 Gary became a member of the American Abstract Artists.
Carrie and Gary founded Art People (1976) and their concept was influenced by the Bloomsbury Group, the Arts and Craft Movement and the Bauhaus. Visiting Frederic Church’s home Olana multiple times, the Golkins were guided by Mr. Church's ability to incorporate Middle-Eastern decorative motifs, fine art materials and techniques, the Golkins decide to develop a truly creative alternative to machine produced products. Using their love/knowledge of art, art history and artist material/techniques the Golkins designed home furnishing products. Originally tested for personal use, durability and to meet commercial standards for buildings. The products listed below were at first marketed directly through Art People:
- Wall covering on American cotton duck, painted with artist’s paint and using fine artist methods
- Upholstery fabric painted on cotton canvas and heavy silks for furniture
- Fabrics painted on silks and light cotton for bedspreads and drapery
- Hand-painted floor coverings
Creative and durable, Art People’s artisan products possessed an award winning reputation and their products were consequently made available only to the design trade that included, architects, residential designers through representative showrooms, space planners, hospitality and retail space designers.
Gary's portraits are inspired by his passion for literature as biographies and art monographs on art and art movements. Great biographies allow readers to understand the foibles, frailties, humanity as well as the great achievements of the subject. The complexities of the lives being written about are essential to understanding how great contributions are achieved.
Although Golkin considers himself an abstract painter, with this current body of work he has taken on the iconic representational subject of portraiture. Gary approaches these large-scale portraits with a meticulous series of colored marks and gestures applied to small areas of the paper's surface from an extremely close range. Faces and bodies only begin to reveal themselves to the artist after the creative process has resumed. Through this rotation of repetitive mark making and intuition the icon art figures are born. The artist's journey is often a reflective one and Golkin draws from these personal experiences as both an artist and art student/instructor. He approaches this new body of work as a drawing memoir that carries his artistic journey full circle from past to present. By combining images from memory with various representational images culled from the sources of art books, the artist highlights these profound influences from his artistic heroes paying homage to how they have fueled his own creativity.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Deeply thankful and with respect for the photographers whose images have been used as details or in full that act as an element in the concepts of each piece. Gary takes the photograph whenever possible. Please use the contact tab above if there is a correction or more information regarding the photographer or the information regarding an included image.