Various States of Undress, Construction and Repair

“Beyond the fragmented and broken structures, the easiest way to affiliate myself with Brooklyn, and my neighborhood, is my choice of color. A lot of grey and metal, silver, fake gold and neon spray paint.”

poster for Jason Gringler

Jason Gringler "Various States of Undress Construction and Repair

at The Proposition
in the Villages area
This event has ended - (2008-04-19 - 2008-05-31)

In Interviews by Alyssa Tang 2008-05-14 print

Jason Gringler is a Canadian-born artist, whose American solo show debuted in New York City last month. At first glance, Gringler’s paintings look like architecture run through a blender, an intricate blend of elements including mirrors, acrylic “canvas,” collage, and spray paints, which are somehow reminiscent of both childhood freedom and adult severity all at once. In his own words his work is “Antsy, blunt and loyal,” while being something “girls like to fix their hair in.”

Jason Gringler- Studio Shot

Your recent works diverge from the usual medium of painted canvas. What materials do you use, and how has this new medium shaped your artwork?

The materials I choose to work with consist of a variety of acrylic sheets (like Plexiglas) coupled with busted mirrors, spray paints, collage materials and acrylic paint.

I find the limitation Plexiglas holds as a material helps to direct the architectural, machine-like structures in my work. Plexiglas and mirrors are both quite difficult to cut by hand beyond straight edges. This difficulty is something I try to use to my advantage. Sometimes I find when I am limited in my choices, I am forced to make more interesting choices.

In addition, your work is quite large-scale. Is bigger really better?

Personally, when I am working large-scale I learn more about my medium and the space it inhabits. I learn more about myself when I am forced to step back in order to compose an image. I have always lacked patience. Working large teaches me to be patient.

Instead of playing into color subtleties, you present a clean bold color palette. What choices brought you to a decisive color sensibility?

Currently, I spend most of my time in my studio in Brooklyn. It is a fairly isolated and industrial environment. I like to let said environment seep in to my work. Beyond the fragmented and broken structures, the easiest way to affiliate myself with Brooklyn, and my neighborhood, is my choice of color. A lot of grey and metal, silver, fake gold and neon spray paint.

ArgumentThis is My Funeral

You work is spatially fearless, yet seems in other ways to be quite delicate. How do you plan each work’s visual narrative?

I like the idea of suspense. Not so much for those viewing the work, but perhaps for myself during the making of the work. It is built in steps, from the back to the front. I make things up as I go along. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

How much do you look internally and externally for content? What conversations happen between you and your work?

That is a heavy question. I would have to say that internally, my “demons” tend to surface while I am working. Sometimes, I think the narrative themes in the titles of the work come from the difficult and precarious situations I find myself in–dealing with people, family, friends and business. Externally, sources are varied and plentiful.

I find that there is a moment between looking and registry, between the recognition of an object’s existence, and the recognition of the associations that object holds; it is in this moment of flux that I experience the most affecting changes applicable to my work.

In your exploration of line and form, you push the spatial boundaries on a flat surface. Why do you keep with the limitations of Plexiglas and mirrors? Why not work in a more 3-dimensional sculptural manner?

Sculpture is something that always lingers in my mind. Currently, I have been working on diamond shaped “paintings.” This shift in angle represents my attempt at bringing painting in to a more three dimensional format. I think as my work develops, and the material limitations actually become limiting, I may find myself surrounded by sculptural works. Although, the making of sculpture represents a craft a little bit outside my area of interest. There is something carnal (and narcissistic) about assembling a painting; building something to be looked at, dissected, enjoyed or rejected. Completely useless, maybe.

What upcoming projects are you working on?

I just finished a show in Toronto, currently have a show here in New York, working toward another small show in New York for June, and a little something in Miami for December.

Alyssa Tang

Alyssa Tang. Her parents first met at a Chinese-American Halloween square dance. If you know Alyssa, this explains a lot. Born in 1979, this Boston-bred kid’s been drawing since the day she could crawl. She holds degrees in Studio Art & Psychology from Wellesley College, and Fashion Design from Parsons. Living by the "try anything once" mantra, she's worn multiple hats: muralist, community worker, event planner, graphic designer, textile designer, freelance stylist, and now fashion designer. With a penchant for discovering the unusual, she likes to wander, discover and create ways to put a smile on people’s faces. » See other writings


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