Grid-16 is Aztec and circuit board-inspired. The grid is open from the left and right sides of the piece where a polygon with four rectangular protrusions faces outwards. The elaborate polygons can be seen as a representation of a system such as a circuit board, or a diagram such as a mandala or an Aztec Cosmogram, both of which are representations of the universe.
The Aztec Cosmogram shares a lot of similarities with gridz, some of them being a general square shape and dominant geometric structure utilizing mostly straight lines. It doesn't, however, necessarily look too much like grid-16. The characters you see on the cosmogram are Aztec Night Lords or "Yoallitecuhtin". I found a representation of two of these Aztec Night Lords that I feel have a greater resemblance to grid-16.
While these parallels and tangents do not necessarily increase the validity or coherence of Grid-16, they do allow us to explore the source of inspiration. While looking at more Aztec art I realized that my interpretation of it was not as accurate as I imagined, however, in the end I still felt happy with the result.
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.