Grid-5 uses one shape in two sizes, duplicated and rotated in 90-degree angles.
The only shape used in this piece can be described as a square missing exactly one quarter. The positioning of the larger shapes correlatively mimic the basic shape by highlighting 3 corners of the piece. The corner missing a larger shape instead contains smaller more fragmented versions of the base-shape. The three corners with the larger shapes form an enclosure around the smaller shapes. Smaller shapes point towards the lower-left corner as if gravitating towards the inside of the container. These enclosures create a sense of cohesiveness within the 3 lower-left quadrants, not to mention that the most densely close shapes are found there, adjacent to each other. There is a change in movement in the top-right quadrant of the piece where smaller shapes point towards the top right; pulling away from the rest of the piece. This “pulling away” of the top right corner foreshadows a resulting shape even more similar to the base-shape. Fragmentation and a sneaky fractal structure clearly dominate this composition. Not that it's anything special to find fractals hidden in our creative projections, since fractals are found almost everywhere.
...oh, and it also looks like a bunch of hearts :|
I created gridz sometime around November 8, 2013, which is Hermann Rorschach's birthday. Rorschach was a psychologist that developed the famous "inkblots test" as a psychoanalysis method. The idea of something so seemingly-simple as an inkblot provoking such deep-rooted thoughts to surface fascinated me.
Another concept behind gridz is Piet Mondrian’s style of abstraction (i.e. Broadway Boogie-Woogie). Mondrian abstracted or “simplified” his compositions to the extent of reducing elements to vertical and horizontal lines and primary colors. Similarly, gridz are highly abstracted and limited which makes creating them a straight-forward and relatively simple process (like inkblots!). Ironically, this abstraction and simplicity are what allow gridz to serve as windows to deeper and more complex ideas. In other words, gridz speak directly and clearly, with minimal interference so that the minds of both creators and viewers can take the spotlight.
Gridz share many similarities with mandalas: spiritual and ritual symbols used in Hinduism and Buddhism for meditation and trance induction. Mandalas are generally square-shaped and use symmetry, repetition, radial balance, and many other elements that are also common in gridz. These stylistic elements in combination with a variety of shapes can make gridz highly meditative, taking both the creator and viewer on a journey of self-discovery through association. This process of meditation and discovery is very personal and can differ greatly between viewer and creator.
Other styles of art using similar elements to gridz are:
Regarding the use of descriptive/creative gridz titles: Initially, before completing the 30 Gridz Series, I had envisioned eliminating the use of creative/descriptive names for gridz and adding this restriction to the list of characteristics listed above. The intention behind this restriciton was to extend the minimalist nature of gridz and prevent any additional influence that the title may cause on the observer. For instance, if I called a grid "Bird", the viewer would immediatly think of a bird before even experiencing the piece. Instead, for the 30 Gridz Series I used a sequence of title names in the follwoing format: "Grid-XX". After completing the 30 Gridz Series and experimentally tagging them with descriptive names, I noticed the pieces were instantly more popular--people liked being guided by the title. I decided to make the use of suggestive titles optional, but in its purest form girdz will have non-descriptive titles.