Prolific Artist Gregg Fleishman Brings Functional Art to Lucidity

Jester-like person dressed in character upon one of Gregg Fleishman's pieces of wooden art.
Photo by Kris Kish

“Where art meets math.”

That’s how prolific artist Gregg Fleishman describes the fantastical art he’s been creating for over five decades. Gregg comes from a background of construction and architecture, and has been creating functional art with slotted plywood since 1972.

His designs are made completely of wood, with slotted connections to interlock pieces without using any sort of metal hardware. He achieves this by designing his structures using three dimensional geometry that allows wooden pieces to snap together— sturdy enough to sit, stand, or climb on.

Gregg is a legend in the festival art scene and has had pieces featured at festivals on both sides of the globe, from Thailand to Black Rock City, Nevada. His interest in building for the festival scene began when he first visited Burning Man in 2007.

In 2009, he debuted his first new piece for a festival at the Playa: a slotted birch house made out of plywood. In 2010, he leveled up with a slotted birch plywood art car. After that, it’s safe to say the rest is history.

The Temple of Whollyness: Burning Man 2013. Created by Gregg Fleishman
Photo by Peggy Mekemson

In 2013, Gregg designed and built the massive Temple of Whollyness at Burning Man.

The Temple, a 113,000 square foot pyramid structure, towers at 115 feet, and is one of the most iconic monuments of wonder at the Playa.

Gregg is not only a legend at Burning Man, but his art has been instrumental in providing the eye candy and mystical vibes that we adore at Lucidity. He began by showing his art in the Branches Gallery and the Family Garden. Around 2015, Gregg began creating and showcasing custom art pieces at his camp that fit with the festival theme. Since then, his contributions have been great and his art has been featured in almost every corner of the festival.

This year, Gregg’s art will have a huge presence at Lucid stage, with four pieces total. The Otic Paradise is a reimagined version of a structure he debuted last year at Burning Man. The original design for this structure was developed in 2011, and it has continued to evolve into this year’s Lucidity piece.

Rendering of one of the four pieces Gregg will be bringing to Lucidity this year.
Rendering of *some* of this year’s art by Gregg

This piece will be available for festival-goers to climb on and experience up close. While at the main stage, make sure you feast your eyes on Gregg’s other creations: the aerial rigs that performers will be on, as well as the roof on the Lucid stage.

The Family Garden will be another home for Gregg’s pieces at this year’s fest.

There are two Satellites at the Alive Stage, a healing area roof structure, previously known as the “Altar of Earth.” Inspired by this year’s Burning Man theme “Animali,” the forms for the designs will be of a caterpillar and a bear.

These structures for kids are new designs with a different connection methodology that Gregg developed just last fall. Though the system he is using to build the pieces is different, the geometry used has been in play for him since the mid nineties.

Small baby boy enjoying the inside of one of Gregg's wooden art pieces. Smiles for miles.
Photo by Kris Kish

Whether it be Burning Man or Lucidity, or anything in between— art is a huge part of what makes the experience so transformative. Combining beauty and mystique with function and fun is all part of what makes the art at Lucidity so captivating—and few do it like Gregg Fleishman.

So take some extra time to absorb the sights and sounds this year, and don’t miss out on the one-of-a-kind art that is certain to be all around you.

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