Saturday night I heard Kojo Griffin's 3 minute long artist talk during the opening of his new show of paintings, "Sunshine & the rain," at Saltworks Gallery. My friend Amy Salley said she doesn't believe artists should have to talk about their work and I imagine Griffin would probably agree with her. I was reminded of Etienne Jackson's show from the night before because Griffin said this body of work was an "investigation of process." But unlike Jackson's new work, Griffin's reevaluation or exploration of process is not readily apparent. The works seem more finished and more conceptually driven. I tend to disagree with Salley and think that artist should talk about their work, and at enough length that one can understand what type of "investigation" took place.
Griffin said he was breaking down painting to an almost "cellular level."
Considering the painting above is called "Cell of John Henry", he meant that quite literally. Or should I say figuratively since he's not actually breaking down the substance of paint but instead referencing cells and neurons as the subject of his paintings? (Grammar has never really been my strong point as all five readers of this blog may have noticed)
The paintings were done as emotional pairs, i.e. sunshine/rain. Happy and sad are above. And below, this one seems happy in a sort of sad way, but maybe that's just me.
"Sunshine & the rain" is up at Saltworks Gallery through Dec. 22nd 2007. Take a look.