Monday, January 03, 2011

Spotlight on Gronk's new book, "A Giant Claw"

Gronk is an acclaimed painter, printmaker, and performance artist who was born in East Los Angeles and now makes his home in downtown L.A. Known for his murals, Gronk also has created stage design for the Latino Theater Company, the East West Players, the LA Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera. Ever the envelope-pusher, Gronk has collaborated on music composed for the Kronos Quartet in a series of performances where his paint brush served as the conductor's baton.

Gronk has been exhibited at or curated work for many museums, including the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco, the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, the San Francisco Mexican Museum, the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, and the San Jose Museum of Art. He was given a career retrospective at the University of New Mexico, where he was in residence. He was a founding member of ASCO, a groundbreaking multimedia arts collective in the 1970s.

In 2007, Gronk was the subject of the first volume in the A Ver series published by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press entitled, quite simply, Gronk, written by the journalist, Max Benavidez.

Gronk has now published his own book, A Giant Claw (What Books Press, 106 pp., paperback), which is a collection of his drawings that visually (and sometimes with a few captions) tells mini-stories that are haunting, intriguing and often slyly humorous.

Gail Wronsky, author of Dying for Beauty: Poems (Copper Canyon Press), observes in the foreward to A Giant Claw:

“Drawing, for Gronk, IS writing, or perhaps writing is drawing. And so he has drawn a book. I would call it a book of poetry if I had to choose a genre, because it's written in a language of images, because each page has the kind of organized fragility that poems do...There are declamatory divisions of line and space here, narratives of metamorphosis, the creation of a new aleph-bet made of quirky symbols (from outer space?)...[through which we] are reminded that the world we experience through language is "beautiful illusion," that body and form are constantly in flux, constantly being dissolved and reinstituted...[As viewers] we're confidantes, insiders, privy to the implications of the verbal and visual puns. The subtleness and elegance of the hand that creates [them] delights, charms, and impresses.”

1 comment:

Liza David said...

I didn't understand his creations after all they didn't look like "depicted from the real world"
I appreciate sharing the work here. It is not essential to read about your favorite artists every time