Patrick Grugan Arts
I make 2D mixed media work using photo imagery, oil paint, and sometimes glass and light. My present work is a series called Research and Development.

Specifically, I’m composing on square supports of varied sizes and using a layered approach: first, I transfer digital images onto the support and then paint over them in transparent and opaque layers of oil paint. These digital images are technologically-oriented and appropriated from the Internet: microscopic views of computer and nano-technology or biological phenomena like cells or bacteria, as well as macroscopic views, such as satellite images or planetary surfaces. These views, and the decision to look, reveal patterns and structures that I find fascinating. The way cells and compounds on one hand, and whole planetary surfaces on the other, arrange themselves reveals a higher logic or a higher order. This order is for me a working definition of what the sacred is.

In terms of the works’ aesthetic, the visual pleasure comes from the interplay between pattern, color, texture, and surface. I choose these images not simply for content, but also for the patterns and textures that I find beguiling. The transparent color painted over the digital imagery tends to be dark, but saturated and jewel-like, giving the pieces a depth and glow. Layers of opaque color tend to anchor the pieces in space, create surface texture, and provide comment and connotations for the digital images. The aim of the play of color and pattern is to engage the viewer in an inviting and stimulating way, even as they consider difficult issues.

This series truly is a research and development project—I’m operating in a more experimental way than I usually favor, and the results aren’t pre-determined. My goals for this project are to explore the intersection between the wonder of the physical world and my deep concern at the political and economic one.