Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tm Gratkowski - artistic look at social issues

Tm Gratkowski’s art is both concept-driven and process-driven.

Beneath a tangle of fragmented vignettes, patterns, colors and textures, one encounters thought-provoking words, images and stories – the experience is visceral as well as intellectual. Tm uses mass-media as a lexicon of information to contextualize popular media as a social criticism about the very things that we are surrounded by but pay little attention to.

Using paper as his only material, Tm layers hundreds of pieces of paper to construct a surface rich in patterns, images, and text, all with subtle shifts in color. At a distance his works appear as formal abstractions, as if painted, but upon closer examination the layers are made up of a dense juxtaposition of selected images and texts.

The majority of Tm’s work explores issues of social polarities and social conditions left unresolved in our social history. Tm juxtaposes political, social, and art images to tell a story rich in historical references and combines contemporaneous popular media to make these subjects relevant today.

What, at first, may appear as formal aesthetics will, upon closer examination, reveal a subject matter that is often complex, challenging, and difficult to take issue with. The process becomes evident as the viewer becomes engaged in a visual dialogue with the works hidden imagery and words. Tm hopes to engage the viewer and the art in a way in which they are at liberty to see, discuss, and challenge that which has been (re)discovered. more