Archives for posts with tag: Artist Statement

Read what C. Grant Cox III has to say about play and his creative process in his artist statement below.

Play is the common thread that duct tapes our
imagination and the real world together. My practice is
a playful improvisation of combining found objects. As
a result, materials are ratchet strapped, clamped, bolted,
tied, and tacked together like IKEA furniture without
the instructions. Through these actions I present makeshift
machines that perform happenings of the everyday.
With this consumer residue I create contraptions
that explore notions of the grandiose and the pathetic.

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There is the great need for social forums on the various dire situations that we face as a species on this planet and art is a medium in which to express the common concerns heard around the world.  Yet, there remains a great divide between the art community and the human community at large.  This divide is one that deserves consideration as the separation of like-minded people weakens their cause.  The ideas behind my work are deeply political, and I want as many people to understand them as possible. Therefore, I have turned to compositions that have stood the test of time to help carry my message.

My process is to collage a new image onto the original composition. The combination of these two elements, new and old, with the silk painting technique, first discovered in 2nd Century India, makes for a fusion of time and culture. East meets west as past meets present.  While some pieces are more humorous than others, they are all telling the human story.

When looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly delights, I was struck by the similarities between past and present, in that there are still so many unanswered questions about how humans came to exist and where we are going.  A year later, I was working on the Guernica Revisited as a reaction to the seemingly senseless nature of war throughout time, particularly the present.  By the next year, we had entered yet another war while the infrastructure of our own nation crumbled.  At this point, it seemed time to look to a composition that is recognized by all of humanity: the composition of the world map.  This time, I wanted to convey a message of peace, a reminder that the majority of the world is merely trying to get through every day with as little conflict as possible.

As an artist, there is an underlying desire for conflict so that my work is able to grow and not become stagnant.   My life goal is to make every ten paintings better than the last ten paintings by keeping my eyes, ears, and mind open to the concerns of those around me.

 “Utopian Consciousness wants to look far into the distance, but ultimately only in order to penetrate the darkness so near it, of the just lived moment, in which everything that is both drives and is hidden from itself. In other words, we need the most powerful telescope, that of polished utopian consciousness, in order to penetrate precisely the nearest nearness.”

– Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope, 1954-59

 

My works explore fantastical architecture, landscapes, monuments, inventions, and extraterrestrial bodies. Such objects function as traces of a life unlived. Through viewing these objects, we can piece together something beyond the here and now, something speculative, or perhaps unfulfilled. Art is the only way to exist in a utopia. Architectural utopias are a way to represent culture at large, and reinventing and re-imagining them is a way to explore our existence. Creating new worlds is an exercise in potential. It is the belief in progress, and the ultimate act of hopefulness.