Thursday, June 7, 2018

Collage Manifesto (part-2)

In order for collage to transcend craft and the surrealist portrayal of slight transformation it must become something it is not; ie: it must be made in the vein of contemporaneous art and the inclusiveness of all its genres and beyond the limits of its myopic process and materiality. Collage must be more like art and less like the limits of gluing paper to transcend the stigma of history and perception. #paintingwithpaper #mashups #jazz #accumulation #verbasizer #collage #manifesto

Collage Manifesto (part-1)

I believe that the quotidian idea of combining two images to make a collage is rather pedantic. I believe that the future of collage (theory) exists, not in the past as and end with surrealism, but in the future. The multi-maximalism of all sources of information existing at the same time in one frame of a moving moment - kind of like what your computer screen/ iPhone can look like at any given moment when surfing the interwebs. A mandate for a new collage theory is a kind of maximalism for stimulation combined with the multiplicity of multitasking. It is that moment between your perception of seeing everything at the same time and your brain beginning to process all this information into a defining moment where everything begins to make sense and you start to separate the noise from the pertinent information needed to understand. Collage should be unknown and unfamiliar, not the derivative, redundant, and appropriated ideas of a group of individuals exploring that same “revolutionary newness” over 98+yrs ago. #justthebegining #collage #manifesto

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Ombre Effect Of A Dyslexic Heart

Dyslexic Heart, 2018, 75"x 96"x 9-1/4", paper on wood diptych panel. 
next solo show at WMG in March 2019!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Signs of the Times

Black Flag #2 (installation view), 2017

Speaking of how “we see the world,” the world at large, and especially at home, is looking rather grim and toxic these days. It’s reached the point where I can scarcely turn on the news, and even die-hard Republicans of my acquaintance are questioning our leader’s competence and sanity. The downright punitive tenor of the times alarms us all, and artists can be especially sensitive to changes in the zeitgeist. So I asked about a dozen how they were responding to the current political climate, and the answers ranged from expressions of pure rage to taking an inward turn. You can read Part One of “Signs of the Times” here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Diversity and Inclusion

I am pleased to announce my inclusion in the museum exhibition...

Diversity and Inclusion: The Influence of African American Art in Southern California

The opening reception (2:00-4:00) and artist Q&A  (2:30) is January 27th 

January 25, 2018 to February 25, 2018
The Ontario Museum of History & Art and Guest Curator, Jerry Weems, present Diversity and Inclusion: The Influence of African American Art in Southern California. This open call exhibit displays the diversity of the artistic styles and visions of contemporary African American Art. Seen through the stylings of regional artists, Diversity and Inclusion reveals how artists are influenced by the raw and expressive beauty of the African American experience. Diversity and Inclusion encourages and promotes inclusion of all visual artists regardless of race. 

For more information :

Black Flag #3 (We're Not Your people) 2017
A Love Supreme

Bound Together

Bound Together, 2017, 8inx6inx5in, paper. (available now)

Friday, November 17, 2017

The work continues...

Just because you cant see it doesn't mean my life is not a mess, 2017, 48in x 48in, paper
Typical for this series: one collage is made up of +/- 10 separate collages.

Monday, November 13, 2017

New work! Domesticity Series - Vanity & Vices.

If I Told You The Truth, I Feel Your Judgment and Ignorance Wouldn't Allow The Truth To Exist., 2017, 48inx48in, paper.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sunday, August 27, 2017


A couple days ago, I was sitting in front of a blank wall...thinking, always thinking. Then I had a vision…. a square. So I drew that 48”x48” square on the wall.

To take a step back, before I did either of those things it was a long year, a very long year of what I identify as nothingness/ emptiness. In non-emotional terms and heavily on the clinical explanation  this “nothingness” means low production to me. It’s subjective, just like “success”. To get to the point, since October of last year I have only made 42 works of art. These things I call art, are not sketches, experiments, failures, attempts, or bad art pieces; they are what I would/could consider putting out into the world in an exhibition. All of this work, to me, had no focus or intent other than an emotional distraction- I always have to be doing something, so I did anything I could which would hold my interest long enough to finish what I started. It was a chore and not much energy after they were started to do anything else. In dealing with my own personal issues (depression, anger, resentment, blame, - to name just a few) in some ways making art has always been my zen moment, my meditation, my exhaling. So, as much as I didn't feel much like investing my time in making art, I also knew I had to. Which brings me back to 2 days ago/last week.

There is a time when sitting in a chair and staring at a blank wall is as productive (and necessary) as physically standing up and working on your art- they are one in the same. I think and stare a lot throughout the process. So, after a few days of serious focus, it came to me… a square. A square is platonic in its geometry, but also complex and difficult in its proportions when considering heavily on composition as I typically do. I think I envisioned the square because it is so quotidian it was easy as any a place to start, and start is exactly what it allowed me to do. In almost a rush of clarity, inspiration, and vision, I saw everything full of possibilities to finally feel like there was some a reason to start again.

I know this may all seem trivial, but to me my interest has always been in the moments we overlook or don't consider and at this time it’s all coming together both personally and professional all at the same time. So I begin.
Which brings me to today/ this morning and getting to the studio and grabbing my chair right in front of a blank wall with nothing more that a square drawn on the wall. The thing about process, and most people get this wrong, is that process has no starting point, it’s constantly evolving and changing - a continuum to move forward. It’s not planned, it’s not thought to be right in a higher percentage than not, it’s not a pedantic order of things done or executed, and it definitely does not know what it’s going to be before you start. As I sat there for a brief while, the cliched “vision” hit me and I started. What stuck me at this time with all its focus, clarity and vision is that I started in the middle- very strange.  A collage made of collages, only an implied format (48”x 48”), no solid base/framework to start from (just a single piece of paper floating). The place in which I’m starting is somewhere in the middle between all the pieces of paper before it. To say it’s exhilarating to start something you haven't seen before equally shares the same place of being nervous and unsure. These are great places to begin!

#personal #process #collage #paper #art #contemporaryart #Emotions #PaperHouses #DomesticPaterns #Domesticity #Black and #White #apophenia #heterotaxia

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A brief, but revised artists statement.

Tm Gratkowski's artwork is a form of visual data gathering. He aligns the act of looking with that of reading by using paper, images, and text to create a critical visual narrative about the Pop-semiotics of culture to challenge your assumptions about how we see, understand, and interpret information.

Rorschach experiments in collage