Here we have a sketch of the artist's constant companion and muse, Gloomy Bear.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
In "Alien", Grant continues his exploration of "the other". His work is often populated by figures marginalized by skin tone, single giant eyeballs, multiple limbs, or extraterrestrial origins. This interest in outsiders may stem from the artist's own diminutive stature, as well as his inability to tie his own shoes, conjugate verbs correctly, and make it to the bathroom in time if he is having fun playing with trains.
In this drawing, we see a hot pink, cycloptic alien tumbling out of view. A portion of his head has actually left the page and his body seems set to follow. This unusual composition brings a certain tension to the piece, though it remains delicately balanced and pleasing. Grant captures the action of the alien, but does not explain what has caused his fall. We know that the artist has an intense aversion to the attention of strangers. Perhaps the alien is his surrogate, dodging our judgemental gaze.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
It is the urgency of Grant's drawings that makes them so compelling. There is something almost desperate about them: as if the artist was creating them out of absolute neccesity, or maybe trying to put off bed time by cranking out drawing after drawing.
Grant explains that this alien is from the next door neighbor's house. I will have to monitor them a little more closely and make sure they are not stealing our bananas. Bananas are not cheap this far North and if Grant's drawing can be trusted, they are wasting them.
Grant wanted me to let you know that he will have more work soon. He has been at an artist's residency in Vermont and is anxious to get back to the sunny climes of Olympia.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Instead of describing the image we are seeing, the title describes what we won't find in the drawing. It apparently represents what the artist had in mind but did not produce. The title also begs the question: why was there no room for a skeleton? Assuming that there is no preset size for a skeleton and the artist was only limited by his fine motor skills and the bounderies of the page, why couldn't a skeleton fit? Could he not have scaled his idea down to fit the page? Could we really be talking about psychic space? Perhaps the limits of the page were such that they could not contain Grant's idea of a skeleton. Better to abort the idea than dilute it?
So, what was there room for? A tornadic form funnels our gaze to a pale glow at its center. A dark shadow falls to the lower left. We are gazing out of Plato's Cave towards the sun in our climb towards enlightenment. The form of the skeleton that could not fit on the page casts its shadow on the cave wall; a pale imitation of Grant's perfect idea.
A blue skull wears a concerned expression on his face (or lack thereof) as he floats isolated in a white void. There is no hint of context, just the skull confronting the viewer with his worried gaze. We learn from the title that he is ruminating on the subject of preschool. We do not know who the skull belongs to, though it does seem probable that it represents the artist, since he is currently in preschool. Is the skull an omen? Is it a metaphor for emotions laid bare?
In a recent interview, Grant stated, "I go to preschool on Tuesday and Thursday. Is it Thursday? Is Thursday tomorrow? Will I go to preschool tomorrow. I'm going to play with the train table." Preschool seems to stir a nervous energy in the young boy, an energy that is translated into his art.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Another in The Magic Schoolbus series, "It's All The Magic Schoolbus" shows the bus once again spinning into action. Critics often fawn over Grant's facility in mark making, and here we have it at it's most dynamic. His lines are almost electric; they pulse with energy as they pull the viewer into the vortex of his composition. When asked why he so frequently includes the bus in his work, he answered, "Because I do." When pressed to elaborate he covered his mouth with both hands and left the room.
Here we have a lovely drawing documenting Grant's recent performance piece, "Halloween". For the performance, the artist dressed as a train conductor, complete with whistle, hat, red scarf, and "soot" on his cheeks. He then proceeded to wander the street asking neighbors for candy. The the performance continued and he began to repeat, "more candy, more candy, more candy" under his breath. As he knocked on doors asking for "treats", he seemed to gain momentum until he was dashing from door to door nearly yelling, "more candy, more candy!" He then returned home and ate as much candy as he could before collapsing on the living room floor from sheer exhaustion. Grant had transformed himself into a metaphoric "runaway train" of consumption in a biting critique of man's inherent greed. At the end of the performance, the artist literally had to be carried up the stairs and put ino his own bed, too spent to even change out of his costume.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Itsy Bitsy Spider
This is one of the artist's earliest video works. Like a Mauri warrior, he squares off with the viewer, shouting the lyrics to a children's song. Through posture and tone the artist subverts the traditional relationship of the child performing for the adult; instead of cuteness there is ferocity, instead of entertainment we find fear. We do not wish to pinch his cheek, but hope that he will not pinch ours.