Rives Granade

Lives and Works: Los Angeles, CA

Mediums: Painting, sculpture and printmaking

Which mediums do you work with? How would you describe your subject matter?

I work in any medium that an idea calls for... but mostly oil paint, plaster, wood, ink transfer, and various forms of print making. My subject matter is amalgamations of images and marks. The images can come from most any source - photographs, drawings, digital media, etc. They are obscured by their own deterioration and complex layering. The final result can be described as abstract, and yet I never fully let go of the figure. 

What is the source of inspiration for your abstract compositions?

​My inspiration stems from a desire to simply explore the nature of what it means to create an image. Often for me this involves destroying one image in order for another type to emerge. Painting is a good place to do this because it has a certain autonomy, and is therefore removed from everything but its own history. Of course the history of painting can be daunting... My process involves taking images and first putting them in physical form (for example printing them if they are digital). I then do something to that physical image like soaking it in water, or dripping paint on it. The results are quite aleatoric. I'll then scan the image back into digital format where it will be further manipulated. It is this digital manipulation that is then used as the model or starting point for a painting. The image is transformed even further during the subsequent painting process and layering of paint. The final result lies somewhere in between the ready-made and the intuitive gesture, and part of my goal is to maintain a certain tension between these two poles. 

What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel/inspire your work?

I'm reading Ezra Pound's "Cantos," JG Ballard's "Unlimited Dream Company," William Vollman's "Rising Up Rising Down," Phillip K Dick's "Exegesis" [...] I'm looking at paintings by Per Kirkeby, Tal R, Jeff Elrod, new Jasper Johns, late Wasily Kandinsky, Arshile Gorky,Tony Cragg sculptures, Peter Buggenhout, Sterling Ruby, Bojan Sarcevic, Shiro Kuramata [...] I'm listening to Xenakis percussion works, György Ligeti, and Heiroglyphic Being.

You have a wonderful studio! What does having a physical space to make art mean for your process, and how do you make your space work for you?

Having a studio means everything. Its a cave in which to think and live. Its a space to spend time with the things you make.

You mentioned your work was evolving to be more minimal. Has there been a shift or change in your life or work that has led to what you’re making now?

No change. I just want to distill and make things faster, but for me I don't know if this is possible. Time is an important element in my work. 

Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?

I just did a small billboard in Venice. Part of it was digital print and part was paint. The image was derived from a photograph of a temple wall in Kyoto into which people had scratched graffiti for perhaps hundreds of years. I'm still not sure how I feel about the end result, and I think that is exciting. 

How do you know a piece is completed?

When I can't think of anything else to do to it...  and it stops annoying me.

What do you want your work to do?

Hold mine and my friends' interest.