Greg Banks

Greg Banks: An Explanation of Sympathetic Magic
November 1, 2021 - November 24, 2021

From the surrealistic imagery of The Precautionary Tale of The Goatman to the palpable memories of After The Family Farm, Greg Banks’ images weave a tapestry of family, folklore and the subconscious. Family photos combine a personal narrative with the folkloric history of the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky.

Artist Statement:

The Precautionary Tale of Goatman, Archival-Pigment-Print 2016 God, witches, devils, mythical creatures, speaking in tongues, snake and fire handling, and raising the dead all exist in the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. For this body of work, I am appropriating family photographs, as well as vernacular images, to tell supernatural stories about my family history and the region from which I come. My work weaves together a personal narrative with the folkloric history of that area. Photoshop and the unpredictability of smart phone applications are used in a similar way to how a folktale unfolds. Each app is manipulating the story as a person might exaggerate a tale when they pass it along. By assembling family photographs and appropriating historical images, I am constructing stories with contemporary tools for manipulation and passing them along as visual folklore.

—Greg Banks

Artist Bio:

The Death of Linda, archival pigment print on Rives BFK, 2016 Greg Banks is a photo-based artist and instructor at Appalachian State University. He received his MFA in photography from East Carolina University in May 2017. He received a B.A. in photography and a B.A. in fine art from Virginia Intermont College in 1998. Banks was a top 200 finalist in Photo Lucida’s Critical Mass in 2018. He was one of only seven artists chosen for the Light Factory’s Annuale 9 in 2017. Banks’ work was among the top 5 most popular on the online magazine “Don’t Take Pictures” in 2017. His work can be found in publications such as Jill Enfield’s Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes, 2nd edition. Greg combines iPhone images and historic 19th century processes, gelatin silver printing, painting and digital printing. His current creative practice investigates family, folklore, memories, magic and Appalachia, as well as history and religion.