FROM AUSTOME LIFE
BY VALYNTINA GRENIER
“These two paintings are among the four I made after visiting Ellsworth Kelly's Austin on a cloudy afternoon last May. Kelly's “chapel” left me with an impression of abundance because of the expanse of color at play in the light, shaped by the arches and angles within and without the place. I think that Kelly's project addresses the whimsical individuality, in both form and palette, that I have experienced in the places and people I’ve come to know in Austin. Chapel and Clown Brows take their cue from the intense color and shape housed in a relatively small minimalist structure-- not much paint, plenty of white space. These paintings are part of a larger series of abstract works, Austome Life, created in and/or inspired by Austin in 2018.”
FROM THE ARTIST: I am a multi-genre artist living in Tucson AZ and Austin TX. My poems, paintings, installations and encaustic art skirt the lines of representation and abstraction to create a vantage from which to view violence and prejudice. As a woman and a lesbian, it is my desire to make art that inspires tenderness, compassion, and empathy. I wouldn’t write or paint what I do if I hadn’t studied poetry; I hold a BA from University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California. Undergraduate work introduced me to art as an agent of social change, but poetry really taught me to think (allegorically, symbolically, metaphorically). You could say that I want to challenge perceptions, beginning with the idea of a fixed self, gender, body, or ontology, and including the perception that delight and tenderness are not part of a discourse of political protest and protection.
Travel continues to be an influence and inspiration for my work— to visit museums, galleries and artists around the world, and also to discover new tools and materials. For the past few years, I have been creating a body of work with pure pigments that I discovered in Pisac, in the Sacred Valley of Peru.
I have work in private collections in New York, Boston, Columbus, Seattle, Napa, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Aliso Viejo, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Phoenix, Tucson, Austin, Atlanta, Lima, Shanghai, and Paris. A portfolio of my visual art is at valyntinagrenier.com. A few of my poems can be found online at The Volta's Arroyo Chicoissues #17 and #29 and Spiral Orb 2 and 5. Instagram: @valyntinagrenier