Grid-09 is made up of only 3 shapes: a triangle, half a cross, and a large shape that extends across the bottom.
When I started this piece I had no clear source of inspiration. I started with the top row of triangles, then I duplicated that row and rotated it 180 degrees so the new row of triangles pointed in the opposite direction. I noticed that both rows of triangles put side-by-side would form a diamond. I though of other common/simple symbols and a cross came to mind. I did the same thing with the cross. The offset or split in the shapes made them look like each row of vertical halfs was scrolling vertically in opposite directions, which meant that half the time this movement would result in whole diamonds and crosses, but mixed symbols the other half. With diamonds and crosses intertwining so closely, I couldn't help think of money, religion, and their close relationship. As a final step I wanted to put these split shapes on a stage (or altar) to symbolize their importance and glorification.
The holiness of the cross and the power of money are brought down from their pedestal through repetition and duplicity. Put a coin in the slot machine and no matter how many times you go for a spin, religion and money always seem to get in the mix.
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.