Name: John Grande
College: School of Visual Arts
How would you define yourself as an artist? My Art is about Culture Art History and the Culture of our times
Why art? How did you get involved with art? It Chose me. For as Long as I can remember I was always making art and I have not slowed down. From the age of five I was drawing. I don’t think my parents knew what to do with it.
After graduating SVA I was fortunate enough to get a job as a Professional C Printer at a Lab down in Tribeca. It was an amazing experience. I got to meet and print for many High-End Fashion and Fine Art Photographers. Mick Rock – Mile Aldrich – Jack Pierson – Annie Leibowitz – Jerry Shatzberg ect ect ect.. The lab was in a loft building where the elevator would open directly into the lofts. Across the elevator In the north side of the building was Lived an artist Victor Matthews. I was surrounded by Art. This experience fueled my desire to become an artist. I would work all day in lab go home take a small nap then Paint till I would pass out. Filtering the things from my days of Printing into my painting.
Then in 2000 I lost my mother to Asbestos Cancer. I was shaken to the bone. Realizing that life is short and, we must live life to its fullest. In 2002 my family received a settlement from an open class action suite Asbestos Fund. Against my father’s wishes. I took my 3rd of the settlement. Rented myself a one bedroom apartment. Turning the living room into my studio and using bedroom as storage. Investing it into my Art and I never looked back. I wanted to take this thing (My Settlement) that resembled death and, transform it into Creation. This is the thing that drives me every day.
What art do you most identify with? It’s funny when I first started getting involved in the Art World and going out to galleries I was kind of closed. Only Identifying with Art that resembled what I was doing but, over the years I have found myself Identifying and wanting to understand much more than my own language. It’s like acquiring a taste for anything.
What does “being creative” mean to you? Hard work and perseverance with in intention of Adding to Life itself.
What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? The advice was no necessarily about being creative. It was more about the thought process behind creating art. I was working with someone from the Guggenheim Museum. Having the opportunity to share my work with with her on a constant basis was priceless.
I remember one day I had sent her something I was working on. Eagerly waiting for her critique.
“John just because you know how to paint don’t paint for POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE… Always think about how you can add to the vocabulary of ART!” This has always stuck with me.
What are you trying to communicate with your art? I am interested in communicating the world around me through my art. I feel it’s important and a huge part of being an artist to be a visual receptor. Recorded – take notice of the world around me funneling it into my art.
What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually? I feel the strength of my work is my ability to both visually and conceptually bring my ideas to life.
What themes do you pursue? I work in project form. Sometime 2 at a time. Bouncing back and forth between both. They are always a response to either a visual or life experience.
What inspires you to work? For me it’s more of an impulse Kind of like breathing or eating. I have to do it.
Color: The Rainbow
Book: Don’t have one.
Movie: I don’t have one specific movie. I like movies that show a process. I am very interested in how someone or something goes from concept to conception and the journey in between the two.
Food: Everything but Tripe. My father use to cook it when I was younger. The smell was a huge turn off for me.
Quote: “If I can say it in words there would be no reason to paint” Edward Hopper
What Role does the artist have in society? The role of the artist is to make the public aware of our society. At the same time allow us to Think – Dream and Escape our everyday.
Do you suffer for your art? I wouldn’t consider it Suffering. I have sacrificed a lot in my pursuit of creating Art.
What do you think about the art community and market? I plead the 5th…
Should art be funded? Why? Yes. I believe Art should be funded. It’s a huge part of society. It has been funded for thousands of years.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how? There are many Artists that I have been influenced by. The one above all others is Gerhard Richter. The breadth of his work constantly amazes me. Hi ability to shape shift his technique
What other interests do you have outside of art? To be honest. I have become so consumed with my work it is hard to step outside of my art.
You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art performances today? I feel these things are very important in and to History of Art. I see them as different ways of conceptualizing Ideas allowing us to think outside the box. Thru out the history of art there have always been movements and the use mediums allowing us to question what is art and what role does it play with in the bigger picture.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? This is always my biggest fear. I do whatever is needed to allow me to Create Art every day.
some short questions now…
Colours: Very Important.
Textures: A visual experience
Define your art: Post Pop – Culture based
Art Fairs: Bigger than Ever
Cities: The Heart Beat of all Countries
Travels: Not Enough
Music: Everyday… Especially when I am working!!
Who are the artist’s you admire the most? The kind that make me think out of the box. Allowing me to question what is art and its possibilities. Artists that transform the simple and ordinary into thought provoking objects.
What are your next projects? I am currently working on two different projects both in their infancy. One is a series of Blue Ethereal Monochromatic paintings. The other is growing into a more Structural a kind of Combine group of works. Using found objects and incorporating my paintings into them.
Define Klassik Magazine for the audience? Luminous haute culture!