Q&A With Manor Grunewald
Q: What Can you tell me about your background?
I grew up in Ghent Belgium were i still live. The city is perfect for me as it is not to big and relaxed to stay focussed on the work.
I spend some time in NY and other big city’s abroad but it feels most comfortable to work in Ghent.
Also because i just finished renovation of my studio and everything is well organised to have a good vibe and practical logistic issues are not so hard to manage.
I went to a cooking school and spend some time at the art academy after but stopped after a couple of months.
The idea to work on my own and feel free interested me more than a certain structure to reflect on my own work.
Q: Do you remember the first artwork you made – What / How / Why?
A: Not really clearly actually to concider it as an artwork but let’s say the first work on canvas was around the age of 6 with some oilpaint tubes from my brother. He was was at the academy for at that moment. I still have it on a roll in the studio and it looks like a badly made günther förg in a way.
Q: Was there a particular moment or event where you decided to become an artist?
A: Also not that clear. One thing led to the other. I spend drawing a lot as a kid and then started painting graffiti for a long time.
This dragged me into canvas paintings that looked really bad in the start very hip hop / graffiti stuff, but i found it fascinating to create something from nothing and the interest kept growing and growing.
Before i knew i was painting almost daily and spend more time visiting shows and so on.
Q: What influences you?
A: I am a huge fan of good graphic design. Nothing better for me than a well balanced book! Nice typography, good paper, well balanced images.
I like the roll of a graphic designer that becomes a curator to sort out structure and balance of a package of stuff (texts, images, footnotes)
Maybe also the reason why my wife is a graphic designer and work in an artbookstore…haha. We share the same interest and have a nice bookcollection.
As for interest in particular artists it is a wide range. Every artist i like have an aspect in the work that draggs me. Most balance visually in the first step on the intention of clear control, noise and well balanced chaos.
Some examples from younger artists like Frederik Vaerslev, Dan Rees, Nathan Hylden, Nicolas Deshayes,…
Historical artists like Goya, Rothko, Caravaggio also still strikes me everytime i see some work in real.
Q: The Idea/concept surrounding your work, can you tell us more?
A: The work in general plays with defragmentation and fading out of figurative content. The source material comes from a wide range of books, magazines ect.
Actually it doesn’t matter what it is for me from the start. by a trial and error procedure of scaling and contrast adjustments the source material becomes more form intended. It plays with references to historcial abstract artists as well but then more in an office vibe related atmosphere.
As there was an error on a copymachine or an employee was bored and played with the copymachine for a few minutes.
Q: Can you tell me more about the process, and the layers in the works?
A: As told in the previous answer it plays with defragmentation of figurative content.
By scaling and contrast adjustments with a black and white copymachine there is a new image in the make.
I try to keep copying on top of each other, make collages with small parts out of the copy’s and so on.
After that i use graphic adhesive films in different colors to add to some of the study works. Those are scanned in high resolution and blown up to a certain size and printed on a mesh fabric. The mesh fabric itself has a structure that has a reference to silkscreen or digital screen.
A plain white canvas is now being transformed to the actuall work / painting. By painting on the canvas and place the mesh fabric on its place with glue there starts a visual interaction between what is printed or painted. The holes in the mesh has the benefit you see the underlaying layer also and i still can paint on top of the print also. More like an analog photoshop handling actually.
Q: What is most important to you regarding your work?
A: To be able to work in a free medium without any clear bounderies.
It is an interesting practice as you keep reflecting daily on yourself and move in small steps further on something that is actually not clear at all what form / angle it will take in a few years from now.
Q: Can you tell me more about your routines and rituals in your daily practice?
A: I actually live just around the corner of my studio so i go back and forth in between two locations a few times a day.
Starting with some e-mails, logistic plannings ect at home and then in the studio.
Over there i grab up work that needs to be done from the day before and try to catch up with new ideas and study work in between.
I can not focus to long on the same task so some hopping around between different works in the studio feels more relaxed.
Q: Can you let us in on some of the future projects, works?
For the moment i just finished production of a new soloshow called ‘Pinky Swear’ that opens up at Berthold Pott gallery in Cologne.
Parallel to the soloshow there will be a duo booth with Johanna Von Monkiewitsch at Art Cologne / NADA and a groupshow in Dusseldorf at David Achenbach projects.
There is also a groupshow at FIFI Projects in San Pedro Mexico that just opened up.
For may there will be a groupshow in Torino Italy where i take part and a ‘Neighbours’ groupshow i curated at Car Drde gallery in Bologna.
This show will include works from Marius Lut, Just Quist, Lisa Hanze, Alexander Saenen and Phillipe Van Wolputte. The groupshows started in my studio actually in Ghent were i organised 4 previous editions.
As for the future the ‘Neighbours’ show will starting to be more nomadic intended.
Within my own practice / studio work i would like to go further on the direction of a crossover with the paintings into sculptures and find more interesting ways to communicate with the audience by strong scenographical intended shows.
Rather than just show only paintings.