In the Studio with Jason Gringler: Influences and Themes

Artsy Editorial
Feb 18, 2014 8:58PM


“I’m always digesting and assembling different parts of art history or contemporary art. I like to know what’s going on, and I like to let that affect the work and let the work take shape over time, which is why it’s always changing.”

Aggression / Violence

“The punching bag is there for a reason. I have a history of destroying works—works that aren’t successful, works that I don’t like; it’s an emotional thing. Then I recycle those materials that I destroyed into the next works. However, in an attempt to stop that kind of behavior, that’s where the bag comes in very handy. But on the flip side of that, as much as the work can look destructive, it’s actually very particular: every mark you see in the work is placed there. For example, the glass wasn’t broken by punching it; it’s broken in a very specific way and then reassembled.”

Mirrors and Reflective Materials

“I really like the idea of the work not necessarily being a static object, and the idea that when a viewer is looking at the work they can have a semi-cinematic experience, so as they move around the work, the work’s flickering, changing. It also brings the architecture of the space into the room; wherever you place the work, it’s different than where it was before. And then the viewer has a little bit of a struggle between seeing the reflective world, seeing themselves, and actually getting into the detail of the work. I feel like maybe it pushes people away, but sometimes it brings them in a little bit closer; maybe they look a little bit longer.”

The Recurring ‘X’

“It has a lot of meanings, both strong and soft. I started using the ‘X’ when I started using mirrors and reflective materials. I wanted something that would push away while simultaneously the mirror was bringing things into the work. Eventually I exhausted that composition; it’s pretty limited. So the ‘X’ dissolved into other compositional devices, like the stretcher bars. So right now these compositions are generally based on the angles of the frames. So when I exhaust compositional choices, I’ll take a work that I really like, and I’ll try and replicate it. Instead of just stepping back from it, I want to continue that process of working, so I’ll make ‘copies.’ I’ve been doing them since around 2005, just as a way to keep working through things and to keep things perpetually moving.” 

Explore In the Studio: 1717 Troutman Street on Artsy.

Photographs by Alex John Beck

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