by Britt Galpen
Randy Grskovic is constructing a database. It is organized by imagery, time and Twitter trending topics referred to as #reoccurringthemes. An artist of several mediums, Grskovic is interested in creating an analog mediation of the digital process by any means necessary.
I was first introduced to his work through a friend at an event held during his last exhibition, “The Age of Information”. Playful and poignant, what first struck me was Randy’s use of the banal to accentuate, or rather expose, the absurd. He works with fragments, from books, magazines or other ephemera, to create new narratives. The completed works elevate these diverse elements into cohesive and layered vignettes - small windows that offer the viewer multiple points of entry and viewing. The piece that sits above my sofa, titled “Icarus”, is tied to the ancient Greek myth of the son of Daedalus who was doomed when he flew too close to the sun. The legend is meant to serve as a warning of the pitfalls of hubris, an excess of ambition and pride. In Grskovic’s version Icarus’ wings are made of portfolios and business reports and his fall is broken not by the sea, but by a picket-fenced earth seen from a distance. Surrounding the free-falling figure is a web of mutli-coloured string and the exacting lines of a grid, below him the words “ Good things come to those who wait but only the things left by those who hustle.” Questions around where we are going and the means by which we are attempting to get there are intimately woven into this work as well as many others.
Randy’s work often focuses on the broader themes of the social, human experience: Money, Sex, Love, Power and a little Faith. More recently however, he has begun to explore ideas of functionality or the lack of it. (Dys)function is an overarching idea in his most recent body of work. What happens to objects, images and ideas when they are removed from their original purpose or context? How can new and productive spaces be explored by this confusion? The first clue is to look at the invitation for his up-coming show. Printed on matchbooks, they are catchy and gilded. But something is missing. The matches can’t light when struck because the chemical required isn’t there. The idea is that this dysfunction will draw attention and the holder will have to look more closely. Small interventions such as these are Grskovic’s forte. They require us to stop and take a moment. To mirror a fraction of the concentration and time that is spent to create these works.
Grskovic isn’t one to cut corners – there is no Photoshop or digital printer. Images are collected and curated one by one, over an indefinite period and methodically assembled. They are precisely cut, arranged, layered and pasted. Reorganized from linear histories into contemporary somethings that aren’t so readily readable. This handcraft heavy project is counterbalanced by his ceaseless online activity. Randy’s Twitter is replete with clever daily observances of the banal, the absurd and the dysfunctional. Quick responses to a lengthily project. Have a look: www.twitter.com, @randygrskovic, #reoccurringthemes.
Randy Grskovic's solo exhibition, #reoccurringthemes will be presented by Cutty Contemporary Art during the month of October. The opening reception for this show will September 29th at 7pm. 564 Beatty St. Vancouver, BC, Canada.