Wyatt Grant -Bio
Wyatt Grant received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 with an emphasis in fiber and material studies. Based in Chicago, he has exhibited with LVL3, Autumn Space, HungryMan Gallery and the West Pilsen Sculpture Garden, among others. He is the founder of the Chicago band Pool Holograph and frequently produces posters, album covers, and murals for a variety of clients.Dreamer Gets Another Dream is his first solo gallery exhibition.
For more works by Wyatt Grant:
Interview with Grant
My practice is broken up into different modes that support each other on a larger scale- smaller activities like documenting thoughts, sketching, writing before bed, working in the studio, etc. It’s important for me to bring work together from all these different angles. At the moment I’ve been working from a few different places around the city. It feels disjointed, but it’s gratifying when you see a body of work take shape despite not being centralized in any one place.
A lot of work in the show was created through arranging a variety of archetypical characters and themes, some of which are totally made up and kind of tongue in cheek. I was very interested in the concept of the “dreamer”, or a person who seems impractical and romantic while somehow managing to play the role of a trickster in society. They’re kind of a foolish gatekeeper kind of character; this work was made seeing through this persons’ perspective, telling their story. I was influenced by The Catcher In the Rye and the movie The Master in their depictions of the protagonist. There’s a collage-esque approach that pervades most of the work which seems to be indicative of the dreamer’s sensibility. At the forefront, sort of myopic then arranged into a scene or something singular. The diorama-style works allowed me to isolate a lot of elements and put something together that, as a whole, was kind of out of my control. It simulates the narrative for me when creating spaces that I have yet to fill in.
The title suggests that there’s a perilous state of excess for the dreamer sometimes.
The form a lot of my work takes is reflective of how it was put together or thought up. I like keeping that part out in the open and showing the sort of deliberation that occurs while constructing an image. Most of my projects start with drawing, either with a pen or black paint.
I have a background in screenprinting layered images which required me to keep a pile of black and white images to be exposed onto a screen. The preliminary images that the process resulted in kind of claimed the final product for me mentally because they really had no filter. They were just playing their part as another layer cast in a scene. It loosened me up a bit and I’d like to get back to that feeling.
In high school, I became heavily influenced by the Royal Art Lodge, one of the members was Marcel Dzama and I’ve followed his work ever since. Narrative-wise, I like photographer Stan Douglas and how he inserts himself into imagined narratives, especially in his series “20th Century Studio”- the same goes for Jeff Wall and Cy Twombly. Everyday influences include Leslie Baum, Fraser Taylor, Cody Tumblin, Jesse Carsten, and Garrett Durant (all Chicago-based artists, at least at some point).
My main interests are still fresh from this show, still dealing with the same themes in my head. I would like to spend more time in the studio. Through making the geometric collage works in the show, I started to see a connection between the larger scale compositions and flat patterns so I’m likely to work further with those things.
They come from the same place, but the different outlets help me to digest things in different ways. I used to be pretty concerned with having to do one or the other since they seem like such different avenues or that they may dilute each other, but it fits very well for me. The link between the two is a habit of writing and sketching. A few of the works in the show share titles with songs I’ve written.
For young artists, I’d say that its important to love and trust your intuition, even if it sometimes feels unfamiliar or scary.