Grid-15 marks the midpoint and a new direction in the gridz series of 30. Gridz 1-14 have been mostly experimental and helped me explore and discover a lot about this art form through scrupulous analysis. Hopefully the analytical approach to previous pieces will serve as a fairly objective demonstration of the power of gridz as an art form that both communicates and precipitates thoughts, ideas, and emotions through a minimalist canvas.
There was a very noticeable shift in the approach to making gridz from Grid-14 onwards. I found that I started paying more attention to where I drew lines mostly because I had an initial idea or feeling that I was trying to express through the grid. This was different than the first 14 gridz where I was mostly just "going with the flow" and it felt more experimental. For this reason, I feel that the next 15 gridz will be perceived as clearer and equipped with a greater degree of simplicity and minimalism. In order to complement this shift I will also gear down on objective analysis and focus more on feelings and ideas associated with the piece as well as intended meaning--without always providing detailed justification.
Grid-15 symbolizes perception. The two stacked squares in the center represent reality with its straight-forward structure while its surroundings are the layers we must reach through to try to capture it. We are looking through a deeply-mined tunnel of subjectivity where the abrasive rocky walls further scrape our ability to think objectively. We eventually reach a point of imbalance as we attempt to absorb what we believe is reality by staring at a world presented to us through the media and other skewed representations of reality. Ironically, reality does hide behind each and every screen, but are we capable of accepting its cold and logical nature?
To celebrate our silly efforts and inability to trully capture reality check out these two powerful optical illusions in grayscale to keep things simple :)
Squares A and B are the exact SAME color! No lie.
No, the bar is not filled with a gradient--its a solid gray color.
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.