It is evident in Gregor’s nuanced work, she has spent time with important work from periods and cultures that historically support sculpture, especially the figure. On a three month sabbatical from San Jose City College, Gregor travelled throughout Europe, closely studying the classical tradition at European museums from Naples, Italy to the Louvre. Well-versed in art history, Gregor is also inspired by the urban diversity of the San Francisco bay area and previous travel to Bali and southeast Asia.
This time abroad inspired her work for the Transcendent exhibition in partner with Don Reitz and her former mentor, David Kuraoka. Gregor’s foray into life-size work grasped the attention of audiences for this show. The work’s large scale accentuates their sense of motion and power. Billowing drapery flows to the ground, creating Gregor’s signature silhouette. The figures are subtly expressive in their gestures and have a raw, unfinished quality. The rawness and missing limbs seem to suggest ancient artifacts or Greek statues where the paint has worn and limbs have fallen off. The intriguing sculptures reward close examination; subtle layers of color and uneven surfaces reveal a nuanced figure.
The freestanding figures sit perched on their bases. Facial features are often blurred or completely indecipherable; sculpting them is often left for last touches, although the process can take many work sessions. The faces of her earlier work suggested self-portraits, but the details have since been reduced and draw upon a broader expanse of influences and sources. while details of clothing and decoration are added in paint or scratched in with sculpting tools. The figures are timeless and simultaneously remind the viewer of both Greek antiquities and modern magazine photographs. In a 2001 interview, Susannah Israel posed the timeless question, “Why make art?” Gregor responded, “Art is a spiritual necessity. The creative spirit is the best a human being can reach for. It connects us to people in the present, the past and the future.”