G. escalante, 62, championed ‘lowbrow’ art
In his 30s and several years out of college, where he had studied art and been bored by much of it, Greg Escalante saw a skateboarding magazine and was so bowled over by the artwork on the cover that he spent the rest of his life championing the genre it represented — what came to be known as Lowbrow Art.
As a gallery owner, curator, collector, writer and allaround cheerleader, Escalante furthered the work of countless artists in that brash, eyepopping genre, notably through Juxtapoz, the art magazine he helped bring into being.
“Greg, you always dove right in, emerged with such exhilaration and found the pearl in the oyster,” Gwynned Vitello, the publisher and president, wrote in a post on the magazine’s website noting Escalante’s death on Sept. 7.
He was 62 and lived in Huntington Beach, California. Escalante’s brother, Joe, said the cause was suicide, adding that Greg had struggled for years with depression.
Escalante would often tell the story of his epiphany — the time he saw that cover of Thrasher magazine in the late 1980s. He had attended California State University at Long Beach to study ceramics but had graduated in 1980 on something of a down note, feeling unimpressed with the stuffiness of much of the art world.