Gregory Grenon, representation of pure emotion, oils on glass
I lived in Detroit, Michigan with my mother and father and three sisters for twenty-five years. When I left there, I was a working artist in what is known as the Cass Corridor, where artists made art and did not talk about art. I then lived in Chicago, Illinois and worked as an assistant printer from 1973 to 1975 at Landfall Press, It was there I learned about color- it was there where I was finally sure that I would be a painter, not a teacher or printer.
Tired of the large, dirty, crowded cities of my life, I moved to Portland, Oregon, where I found that I could not escape the art inside of me. Throughout my career as an artist, I have concentrated on the Face of Women-moving slowly toward the figure with special attention to the hands, never thinking I would ever sell these pictures-I just kept making them. Growing up in an emotional world, I use this emotion of my life in the life of my painting.
THE UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN
I AM IDENTIFYING WOMAN AT THIS MOMENT IN HISTORY.
THE REPRESENTATION OF PURE EMOTION; EMOTION IN WORK, EMOTION IN LIFE.
EMOTION PRECEDES THOUGHT
THESE PAINTINGS ARE WHAT I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT WHAT I SEE. ALL IS ELIMINATED HERE EXCEPT MYSELF AND THAT IS WHAT I PUT INTO MY WORK.
I PAINT IN A GREAT STATE OF EXCITEMENT. THERE IS NO COMMERCIALISM HERE.
WOMEN HAVE A BEAUTY AND POWER THAT MEN DO NOT HAVE AND THAT IS WHAT I SHOW IN MY WORK.
I SHOW THAT WOMEN ARE NOT INFERIOR TO MEN. I WANT TO SHOW THAT THESE WOMEN REFUSE THE INFLUENCE OF OTHERS. I DO MY OWN THINKING WHILE MY INTENSE EMOTIONAL LIFE GIVES ME A RICH SOURCE OF MATERIAL FOR MY WORK. I AM UNAFRAID OF MY OWN EMOTIONS AND RELATE THIS IN MY WORK WITH WOMEN. I CALL THESE WOMEN UNIDENTIFIED – ONLY TO IDENTIFY THEM.
THERE IS A VULGARNESS. THERE IS A VIOLENCE HERE, VIOLENCE OF PAINTING WHICH IS PERSONALLY UNSETTLING.
EMOTIONAL POWER IS HERE WHICH IS COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO LEARNED, ACADEMIC SKILLS.
THIS IS WHAT I SEE AND IT WILL NOT SHRINK FROM THE FACE OF ANY CRITICISM.
I SEE WOMEN WITH A CLEAR UNPREJUDICED VISION.
THERE IS NO IMITATION HERE. THIS ART IS NOT TAUGHT ANYWHERE, ALTHOUGH IT DOES EMBRACE PERSONAL LIVES AS WELL AS FILLING SPACES VERY BEAUTIFULLY. IT DOES HAVE AN ATTITUDE.
ANY THING CAN BE A PROPER SUBJECT FOR ART AND I CHOOSE WOMEN BECAUSE WOMEN ARE GENERALLY IGNORED BY THE WORLD.
MY ART LIES IN A VERY PRIVATE WORLD. I AM DEAF TO TEACHERS AND MUSEUMS AND ONLY LISTEN TO MY INNER NEEDS. IT IS FROM THAT WHICH I PAINT , THAT WHICH I CONFRONT THE ART WORLD DIRECTLY.
PAINTINGS TO THE PUBLIC, WHOSE GENERAL TASTES AND AESTHETIC VALUES I CONDEMN. THIS IS AMERICAN ART. IT IS SOMETHING ONE CANNOT TEACH OR BE TAUGHT BY IMITATION OF TECHNIQUE. MY VISUAL WORLD IS THE EMOTIONAL WORLD AND MY FEELINGS ARE GOVERNED BY THE WAY I SEE.
I AM A VIGOROUS PROPONENT OF ARTWORK ABOUT WOMEN AND WOMEN ARTISTS. PAINTING WOMEN IS THE BEST WAY THAT I CAN SHOW THE WORLD MY IDEAS.
I EMPHASIZE THIS WITH CONFRONTATION AND UNCONVENTIONAL APPROACH WHICH ALLOWS ME TO PUT IMAGES DOWN AS FAST AS THEY ENTER MY HEAD. I SHOW THE HUMAN EMOTION AND ENTICE EMOTIONAL RESPONSES FROM THE VIEWER.
THESE PAINTINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS PLEASING BUT THEY CONFRONT YOU WITH THEIR STORY. THESE PAINTINGS DON’T SHOW YOU HOW TO BE, THEY SHOW YOU WHAT IS THERE. THEY SHOW YOU TRUTH.
THEY SHOW YOU ONE SECOND, ONE MOMENT IN TIME.
WOMEN ARE THE NEW HEROES OF THE UNIVERSE. THEY HAVE COMMON SENSE AS WELL AS THE POWER TO ACT AND ALTER HISTORY IN THE TIME WE LIVE IN.
INDEPENDENT AND FREE SPIRITUAL WOMEN CAN DO THINGS MEN CANNOT DO. WOMEN ARE WATCHFUL AND ALOOF. THEY STAND BY THEMSELVES.
THEY CHALLENGE YOU. THEY KNOW EVERYTHING.
WOMEN ARE POWERFUL.
WOMEN HAVE PRESENCE. THEY LEAD INTERESTING LIVES. THEY ARE PRIVATE. THEY ARE REAL ALTHOUGH NOT ALWAYS PLEASED.
I WORK FROM HATE.
I WORK FROM LOVE.
I WORK FROM EMOTION.
I AM SHOWING THE VIEWER HOW IT LOOKS TO ME. NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW. WE ONLY STOP OURSELVES.
EMOTION PRECEDES THOUGHT.
EMOTION IS LIKE THIS: “I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU YET I HATE AND DETEST AND ABHOR YOU WITH PASSION THAT CAN ONLY BE SEEN IN MY EYES, IN MY PAINTINGS.”
WHEN THE PICTURE THAT I PAINT LOOKS THE WAY IT DOES, I AM SILENT, IT IS SILENT, AND NO WORDS ARE SPOKEN HERE.
IT MIGHT OCCUR TO YOU AS A VIEWER JUST WHERE MY INTEREST LIES AND WHAT IS ON MY MIND AT THE TIME OR BIRTH OF THIS WORK.
EACH TIME, TRUTHFULLY, I AM LOST IN THOUGHT. IF YOU WILL STUDY THE FACE OF THIS PAINTING YOU WILL NOT SEE THOUGHT OR REFLECTION, BUT RATHER ANTICIPATION AND EMOTION.
THE IMPRESSIONS I RECEIVE IN THESE MOMENTS ARE SOMETIMES UNCONSCIOUS AND RATHER VULGAR.
THE PAINTING IS THE PAINTING AND SPEAKS FOR ITSELF – HAS IT’S OWN WORDS.
THESE THINGS I DO ARE INTENSE AND ARE MADE WITH UNBALANCED AFFECTION FOR YOU, THE VIEWER.
I DON’T PAINT WOMEN AS YOU WANT THEM TO BE. AND I DON’T PAINT WOMEN AS THEY SHOULD BE PAINTED. I SIMPLY PAINT WOMEN AS THEY ARE.