Originally hailing from the sunny shores of South Florida, Greg Hejja considers himself a professional artist--in the broad sense. A highly accomplished songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (drums, bass, piano, guitar, mandolin, voice), he has written songs in all styles for Sony/ATV music publishing and performed for audiences worldwide. But when he’s not melting faces, Hejja indulges in a quieter, more visual form of artistic creation, drawing and painting in his downtown home studio.
Hejja loves painting because, for him, it’s both a fun outlet for self-expression and a cool way to be a part of his community. He often paints community-based subjects, such as the downtown Houston skyline and his friend’s bulldog, Maynard; and with each piece, his goal is to externalize his feelings about his subjects as artistically as possible. So while he experiments in many styles from the stark and expressionist to the geometrical and abstract, Hejja hopes that, for all of his works, the viewer engages not just with their aesthetic composition, but also with the sentiments manifested within them. Maybe when you look at his painting of Maynard, you’ll want to get down on all fours and wrestle with him. Or maybe when you look at his painting of New Orleans, with its swirling lines and rolling colors, you’ll imagine that you’re stumbling down Burbon street around 3:00am after an epic night out, contemplating the dichotomy of good and evil with some old buddies. Of course, Hejja recognizes that for his more abstract works, those sentiments are more ambiguous, if they exist at all. Those pieces are specifically for aesthetic appreciation, so if you just like looking at them, groovy.
Philosophically, Hejja enjoys contemplating the connection between his music and his visual art. For instance, both jazz and blues have roots in the idea that there is beauty inherent in improvisation and imperfection, and for Hejja, making art is kind of like jamming. It starts with a basic idea, and each brush stroke, perfect or imperfect, contributes to the final composition of the piece. If you think that’s cool, then you and Hejja would probably get along. But, if you think that it’s all just a bunch of intellectual hogwash, he thinks that’s perfectly fine too, and he just hopes you enjoys his art.