Gary and Laura Dumm live on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio with their large family of somewhat goofy cats in a house overfilled with books and art.
I'm a life-long Cleveland resident and artist who worked with Harvey Pekar on American Splendor since Pekar began self-publishing that comic 35 years ago. I've shown my artwork in exhibitions nationally from Cleveland to San Francisco and internationally from Canada to Germany. My cartoons have been shown in Entertainment Weekly, the New York Times, the VillageVoice and France's le Monde and in Cleveland Scene, Free Times and Plain Dealer.
Currently I write and draw pieces for Music Makers Rag (biographies of blues musicians helped by that organization out of North Carolina) and am juggling several graphic novel projects. My talented wife, Laura, adds color to my work as required, allowing me to do that much more in black and white.
I've been in Cleveland all my life and I am a big fan of the city. I worked for a design studio and a few magazines before starting my own graphic arts business (1986). After 20 some years of fun and challenging work I made the decision to close up shop and spend my time doing what I have always loved to do, painting. I call my style "Patternism," which is breaking down a realistic subject into colorful shapes and patterns. I paint pop/op art patterns inside abstract shapes to define the portrait of a person or animal in such a meticulous fashion that some think it is collage, instead of painted, BUT they are indeed acrylic paintings.
In a two-person show in 2009 I filled a gallery wall with 12 of the cat portrait paintings. Michael Gill of the Cleveland Scene wrote: "The juxtaposition of color and pattern doesn't strive for illusion the way op art does, but it has a similar eye popping quality." He also said "as abstract as representational work can be" and "all about color and pattern." My influences are: pop art/abstract art, children's art, fabric patterns and quilting.
Traditionally, quilts told a story; they allowed women to have a voice. My paintings use the quilt story/decorative idea, but put a modern super-color-saturated painted spin on it. One gallery owner suggested I look at my paintings through chroma-depth glasses that dramatically separate the hot from the cool colors. Doing this gave me the idea to consider doing a 3-D show, handing out 3-D glasses to people who attend; perhaps for my next "brick and morter" gallery show. In the meantime, feel free to wander through our virtual galleries here. Hope you enjoy yourself and come back often.