Despite its apparent complexity, Grid-13 is made up of only 3 basic shapes (square, right triangle, and trapezoid) and a complex polygon.
The polygon surrounding the simple shapes plays an important role in determining how the viewer will experience the composition. By seeing the inner part of the surrounding polygon as a container of all the simple shapes, the negative space of the inner area becomes inverted (the simple shapes become negative space and the surrounding areas solid). This is, of course, an illusion that is only broken by following the path of the apparent solid towards the bottom where one finds a revealing opening. The real solid is the surrounding polygon which is completely enclosed. In the same way as Grid-04 is most likely viewed as having triangular figures instead of 3-spiked polygons, this piece will most likely be perceived with as much simplicity as possible.
The complex shape is too complex for viewers' minds to register it first. I believe the human brain tries to find the easiest way to create meaning and almost always sticks to it. For instance, there is a known psychological phenomenon called pareidolia, in which people recognize faces and other common objects in random visual arrangements. What's interesting is that this phenomenon has leaked to the realm of artificial intelligence and now face-recognizing computers are mistaking faces with objects that have a similar geometric arrangement: Pareidolia: A Bizarre Bug of the Human Mind Emerges in Computers - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic.
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.