Here we have photos documenting another of Grant's recent performance pieces. This piece began at 10PM with the artist calling down the stairs, "Uh Oh! I think I have a little problem!" When his audience arrived he stated "I think I used too much lotion". This understatement was the core of the piece. The artist had slathered lotion on his left leg to the point of absurdity. He trailed it across his bedroom, his hands held so much lotion that they appeared mitten like, and his stuffed pig had lotion on its snout. This excessive use of a product designed to return the appearance of youth to the skin, on the perfect skin of the young artist skewered the adult fear of aging and our drastic yet ultimately futile attempts to fight it. No amount of chemicals, lotions, or surgeries will ever erase the signs of age and the artist mocks our useless attempts to recapture our youth.
This performance recalls an event Grant staged in January of this year (2006). Again, no warning was given that a performance was going to take place, the audience assembled after hearing a strange slapping sound coming from upstairs. Upon their arrival the viewers witnessed the artist spreading large circles of Eucerin lotion on his bedroom wall. When pressed for an explanation of his work, he replied, "I'm making marshmallows". Unfortunately for Grant, his art was not appreciated by the critics and he was given a time out and had his trains taken away for a full day.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
"Before I was born Jesus told me to go to an art show."
- Really? What kind of art was it?
"It was...uhhh.....kinda a kid one. Jesus came too and he told me I had to be a good little boy and no yelling. The door was up really, really high and I had a special ladder, but I can't find it now."
Monday, December 18, 2006
In this marker on paper drawing, the artist shows an Albers like interest in color. But, where Albers approached color carefully, like a scientist, Grant attacks it like an animal. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty in his quest to learn its secrets. He will either understand it or destroy it.
The ambiguous title captures the mysterious feeling of this drawing. A delicate structure of red, blue, and purple intertwines and overlaps. The red and blue lines resemble some sort of vascular system that seems to be failing, collapsing under its own weight.
The drawing is reminiscent of Terry Winters' recent paintings, but while Winters explores similar ground, Grant's work is fresher and more organic. His work is imbued with a sense of humanity and life. There is always a hint of some sort of narrative in Grant's art that we can't quite grasp, as if we walked onto the set just as the actors left. Winter's structures come across as a bit cold and mannered in comparison.
The first tinges of blue have already started to seep into the sun's core, sapping it of its warmth. Its last rays hurdle off into space. Is this a depiction of the sun's eventual death; the slow transformation into a black dwarf? Or could it be a metaphor for that particular form of teenage malaise that is so prevelent in small towns? Either way, it is a weighty subject for a 3 year old, but it is handled deftly.
A hirsute fellow hides behind a mask as he forlornly gazes downward. As the title suggests, he was unable to resist writing on his pants and is ashamed. A trail of tears runs down his cheek, escaping from beneath his mask and betraying his humiliation.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Here we have a photo of the artist posing as a preschool student. Like Nikki S Lee, he has transformed himself in order to infiltrate a unique social group and document his new identity. The artist spent months studying groups of 3 year olds on playgrounds and in playgroups. He learned their mannerisms, their unique style, and habits. He ate what they ate and used 3 year old slang. Notice the attention to detail; his "picture day" outfit is spot on, something a mother would swoon over, but his hair is tousled to capture that fresh from the playground look.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
"It's a rain cloud and it is raining out the people that were in it"
A swirling brown mass hangs heavily on the page. Several dripping lines and dabs of color escape its belly. A red smear seems to fall into the page in the upper left corner. This work was created after a two week long rainstorm in the artist's home town of Olympia, Wa. Like Jonah escaped the belly of the whale, the people are spit out from the depths of the cloud. They are represented in bright reds and yellows, capturing the hope and joy of a rare sunny day in the midst of a Northwest winter.
"He just wants to see the star, not crash. His name is Cackle and he lives in his bedroom"
The star in question is a small cut-out shape on the far right of the page. "Cackle" seems to be headed eagerly towards it. The artist has explained that the small circles running along Cackle's jaw are "curls". Under no circumstances are they to be called a beard, as this critic learned the hard way. The antenna like shapes on top of the head are "uprights" and the large circles on either side of the head are his ears.
The frantic rendering energizes the work. One can almost feel Cackle's enthusiam as he rushes towards the star, even his hair seems to reach out in anticipation. He may fear crashing into it, but that worry seems no match for his desire to get a closer look. It is interesting that the artist depicts the star as a void. It is a chasm pulling Cackle into its depths. Though aware of the danger, he rushes on. The artist was recently told not to play with the plug for the Christmas lights. He was observed attempting to remove it and then reinsert it into the outlet. Grant was warned of the dangers but five minutes later was once again caught in the act. When confronted he said, "I shouldn't do it because it will 'lectricity me." The next day he tried it again. Like Cackle's star, the plug drew Grant in despite his knowledge of its dangers. Its beauty was apparently worth the risk.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
In this untitled abstract work the artist explores his interest in entropy. Anyone that has seen his playroom has noticed his experiments in disorder. The artist prepared his paper by placing it under several previous drawings and allowing marker to seep through in a random manner. He then let these random marks inform his final colored pencil composition.