On Saturday evening, the designer Rogan Gregory hosted a cocktail reception in honor of “Rogan Gregory: Flamingo Tongue,” his first solo exhibition of handcrafted bronze, wood and stone sculptures, which is on display at the Surf Lodge through Sept. 8th.
Gregory got his start as a design consultant for luxury fashion brands before moving on to cofound Loomstate in 2004 and design for Edun in 2005 but art has always been an interest. “I’m better known for clothing, but I’ve been making things my whole life. Sculpture for 15 to 20 years,” Gregory said while walking through his exhibit. He has been working out of his studio in Montauk, N.Y., for the past 10 years. “Everything I look at I feel like I want to alter in some way.”
The beaches of Montauk largely influence the 42-year-old Ohio native’s work. “The past couple weeks I started working more in stone. This was a stone that was at the beach down here,” he said, picking up a black stone creation. “I was surfing and was like, ‘This could be something.’ So the inspiration is kind of amorphic, nature-related stuff.”
Gregory led friends around the space at the Surf Lodge before retreating out to the waterfront, where his guests reclined with lobster rolls and rosé to the soundtrack of MS MR, who played on the venue’s deck.
“I’ve been chipping away, literally,” Gregory said of his solo sculpture debut. “My dad is a sculptor — it’s not his occupation but he’s always sculpting — and my family is all scientists and anthropologists, so I grew up dissecting things.”
His work, which includes miniature creations he calls “pocket sculptures,” is visually representative of his Montauk base. “Bronze to me is a really special material. It’s constantly evolving and it has a life of its own,” he said. “I go pretty conventional. I like kind of elemental material like wood, metal and stone.”
Ultimately he aims to create something unfussy and approachable.
“Basic shapes, basic materials, stuff that I can comprehend,” he said. “Nothing too confusing, stuff that anyone can get — my daughter loves it, and my collectors like it.”