About Robert Gratiot
My acrylic paintings have two strongly differing subject orientations, with quite a few aesthetic and conceptual overlaps between the two. In most of the city scenes I am interested in seeing the illusion of several different planes of space overlapping each other and standing side by side. This gives the viewer the impression of seeing objects near the surface of the picture plane, deep inside the picture plane, and behind the viewer himself. It allows for first, second and third readings, and gives me the opportunity to combine many abstract elements to create a realistic whole.
There is certain mystery about approaching windows and doors, and my paintings enhance this mystery by simultaneously keeping the viewer out and letting the viewer partially into the pictured space.
My still lifes also combine a strong sense of abstraction and realism. This is especially apparent in the John Lennon Glasses In Cellophane and in Marbles In Baggies paintings. There are often areas that are passive, assertive, receding, or exploding outward from these pieces.
“Gratiot’s paintings evoke both a sense of the ultra contemporary and the artfully nostalgic...”
The regular Marbles and the Crayolas paintings tend to be both very contemporary and nostalgic. The marbles tend to twine like a necklace throughout the space, and sometimes separate into their own universes. These paintings play on contrasts between transparency, translucency, and opacity; and allow me to use contrasts for visual power. I feel these are very strong color pieces.
I would hope that both the still life and cityscape paintings would make the viewer more conscious of and excited about his or her visual environment.
My paintings are very painterly, and as such represent a loose form of photo-realism.
The fish are carved out of bass wood, oil painted, and have tin cans for fins. They are based on real fish, but with shameless artistic license taken in each case. I feel they represent a nice combination of Folk Art and Contemporary Art. They are very different from the canvasses, but they are inventive and help me keep the remnants of sanity that I have been able to hold onto for this long.
~ Rob Gratiot