January 11-Febraury 3, 2013Opening Reception
Dan Grzeca is a Chicago-born illustrator and printmaker (b. 1968). He has been screenprinting since the mid-nineties, contributing to the nascent and then burgeoning roster of Chicago Poster makers by creating a visual documentation of the Free and Improvised music being made by Ken Vandermark, The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet,and Caffeine among others. He has gone on to make work for big, famous bands, but still gets the most satisfaction out of making work that ties into music produced by talented friends. His idiosyncratic style is achieved using pencil and scratchboard drawing techniques which are then transferred to screens for multi-layered printing. Dan spends a lot of time thinking about the screenprinting process in both a painterly and stripped down way, attempting to achieve aesthetic freedom by limiting choices in the composition process. Success to him is measured by visual boldness, stark imagery, subtle color layers, and ink-stained clothing.
This will be Dan's first exhibit at Rotofugi Gallery.
“And this one goes out to….”
Dedications are powerful. For many visual artists, (most I know, in fact) a connection to music is a visceral and dynamic thing. It inspires and feeds them when they are sitting alone in a studio, or at a desk, trying to make personal work. This same feeling can happen eating great food, or looking at the layers of architecture that make Chicago an amazing visual time machine to wander around on foot.
When these new pieces started popping into my head and out onto paper, I was inspired by, as always, the improvisational urge to make something NEW, raw, unrefined, and unrehearsed. Having two young children who constantly want to hear STORIES, I was struck by how folktales and Children’s books have such a direct and powerful relationship with not only children , but adults. We are the ones sitting down and reading (or in the case of some Grimm’s Fairy Tales, creatively editing due to age) these words and looking at the same pictures with our kids. It felt a lot more natural to me to say I was making “pictures for stories” than “making paintings.”
Garbage can robots evangelizing the colonization of Venus? Thanks Sun Ra! Electric coffins bidding you a good day? Thanks Tortoise! A scruffy punk grey Wolf on his way to a gig? Only Joe Strummer and the Clash could have made me draw him. A love for 70’s Bowie resulted in a Martian Spider, crawling towards you with a ready turntable for listening. A Wandering mash-up of Prentiss Hospital and River City by the late Chicago Architect Bertrand Goldberg had to come to life, if only to pay homage to one of them possibly coming down. The list goes on. The well is deep.
Many thanks to Kirby Kerr and Rotofugi, for asking me to pick up a paintbrush again. I promise not to put it back down. And thanks to my wife Kristen, who is the most supportive person I know, and my daughters Ella and Coco, who are so gracious about their father scribbling at the table late at night.
— Dan Grzeca, January 2013