Photography by Jen Woo

Artists With Double Lives: Gregory Vernitsky, Mechanical Engineer and Sculptor, Turns Analysis Into Art

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7x7 is a proud and longtime supporter of ArtSpan and San Francisco Open Studios, the five-week annual event during which hundreds of local artists open the doors to show their latest work directly to art lovers and new potential clients.

In celebration of this year's festival (October 14th through November 12th), we stopped by the offices and studios of five artists with, gasp, day jobs! In this series, we'll highlight artists with double lives, including a barista artist, a surrealist who sells insurance, and a motorcycle mechanic who more than dabbles in mixed media art.


This week meet Gregory Vernitsky, a mechanical engineer originally from Ukraine who found a way to use the same engineering, physics and material science principles to his monumental sculptures.

Name: Gregory Vernitsky

Occupation: Mechanical engineer at Ivaldi Group

Medium: Once a painter, Vernitsky can now frequently be spotted picking up bits of plastic or metal trash, hunks of driftwood, burls or fallen tree limbs, on the beach, at the park or on the street. The treasures are then upcycled into assembled sculptures that ride the line between static and movement. Each installation investigates time, scale and narrative.

He says: "I am a mechanical engineer, and when I work on a project I have to look at an array of single pieces, understand them, analyze their structure, see how each piece can be combined together and be efficient, functional and nice at the same time. In my art, I look at a piece of wood, metal, plastic—If they wake up my imagination, or if they inspire me in some way, I ask myself how these pieces together can become a sculpture. What kind of meaning do they have for me and how can I express it? The process is the same. For my engineering projects as well as for my art works, I try to be as minimal as possible, to not overload a system or a manufacture, and to not overwhelm a person who is looking and experiencing the sculpture."

Meet him: October 21-22, Earthfire Arts Studio, 438 Judah St. (Inner Sunset), gregoryvernitsky.weebly.com

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