Current Issue #488

David Griggs goes back to basics

David Griggs goes back to basics

While David Griggs’ Meditation Sex Music explores similar themes to his previous exhibition, Horror Business, it’s a drastic departure in terms of approach and style.

“This time I wanted to make a series of paintings that are my internal world but are also very positive and full of energy,” Griggs says. “It’s the flipside to the Horror Business approach.”

Griggs, who now resides in Sydney after relocating from Manila a year ago, changed his approach in order to create these works. Instead of sourcing images and using notes from his diary as a starting point, Griggs went to the studio and just let the physicality of painting take over.

“It was about paint and being in the moment, being present and feeling that energy, your physical self and your mental self at one with the canvas,” he says. “It was weirdly liberating.”

Through the process of creating these paintings, Griggs spent time re-evaluating what it is about painting that he loves. He realised that approaching it from a very simple, primal perspective gave him the most satisfaction.

David Griggs’ Alien-Self, 2018

“I was dealing with paint and colour, I was dealing with texture and scale,” he says. “I was looking at the basics of painting but at the same time trying to develop a language I didn’t know I had yet. I enjoyed the process and didn’t care if I succeeded or failed, I just went for it.”

Griggs wanted the work to have a human element to it, as he explains: “I wanted the physicality and movement to be really present in the work. I added a lot of linear marks, which I have never done before – it was very direct.”

David Griggs’ Incessant Passions, 2018

The way Griggs has applied the paint to the canvas is different to previous work and again is something he did instinctively. “The paint is very thick – it’s more like drawing than painting. I still use a lot of brushes but a lot of the linear markings are straight from the tube. This was something I hadn’t done before it, but it felt like the right approach at that time.”

While the ideas and concepts behind Meditation Sex Music are similar to previous work, and the process of creating the works is still cathartic and a type of therapy for Griggs, these new paintings have a freedom not seen in his early work.

“While there is still a lot of depth and complexities within colour and composition, which is innate in the way I work, I wanted to be excited by painting again and to do this I had to try something different and learn from it,” he says.

David Griggs: Meditation Sex Music
Friday, April 12 to Sunday, May 12

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