A Traditional sculptor of bronze Indians, Greeves was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1925 and has been living in Fort Washakie, Wyoming on the Wind River Indian Reservation since 1951. “I talked to a young commercial artist who had a painting of an old saddle, a .22 rifle, and a bunch of .44-40 caliber bullets. He’d photographed the ‘still lifes,’ projected it on the canvas and painted it, and then sold it for one hell of a price because it was Western art. Thank God you can’t render sculpture photographically.”
The son of an Italian tile layer, Greeves left home at 15. “I guess you might say that the Indian is my real love,” he observes. “I made them my life’s work, and I was doing it long before it became popular. A lot of artists think you can know the Indian by coming out here on weekends, but you can’t. You’ve got to love and hate with them. There’s magic for me here. I just feel it, the same feelings I had when I first came here as a kid. Right now, I’m working on a whole series of bronzes to try and capture this mysterious beyond of the Indian.”
“You’ve got to get the inside right before you can get the outside right, and you’ve got to get the outside right before you can even begin to create a feeling of mood. If your work shows pain, you should be able to tear a clay finger off and throw it on the table, and by God, you should be able to look at that finger and see pain.”
Resource: Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.