Katie Grinnan sculpts the sands of time

Regardless of how you choose to define art, one requirement is that the artist have a unique image. The creator has to depict something that no one else has seen before. Or, perhaps what is harder, depict something the rest of us have seen before, but portray it differently. Robert Rauschenberg did this by juxtaposing common items and pictures that normally would not be associated with one another. Suddenly mundane subjects like a newspaper comic strip next to a cannibalized lamp shade resulted in a whole new meaning.
We thought of this effect when we came across Katie Grinnan’s work at Brennan & Griffin in New York. Everyone’s familiar with sand sculptures, yoga, and time lapse photography. But you wouldn’t think of the three together. Her sculpture “Mirage”, made up of casts of Grinnan’s own body, is so natural at first glance that one doesn’t realize right away how disparate the subjects are that are involved in it. Why sand sculpture? Why yoga and not some other action? Those questions, like Rauschenberg’s subjects, are answers that are personal to the respective artist. And that is the final ingredient in this particular definition of art. Grinnan’s ideas stem from the artist’s own background and baggage. Otherwise, any of us could have thought of a moving yoga pose carved out of sand.

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