Valyntina Grenier




These paintings, installations, and encaustics convey a colorful world seemingly untouched by the upheavals of ruin, bigotry, evil, violence, and fear, but are, in fact, a penetrating and personal view of this moment in our American life. They assert that, even at this time, the ideals of tenderness and compassion serve as the foundation of a prosperous society.

You could say that I want to challenge perceptions, beginning with the idea of a fixed self, gender, body, or ontology, including the perception that delight and tenderness are not part of a discourse of political protest and protection.

With a preference for motes of pure pigment, pencilled lines, metallic, neon, and iridescent color, I’ve developed a personal iconography. By presenting tangibly politicized objects and images in pacific settings— guns, rainbows, clouds, triangles, plant life and male/female reproductive organs— these works skirt the lines of representation and abstraction to create a vantage from which to view violence and prejudice.

I employed lines of graphite and loose constellations of shapes, favoring day-glow and translucent paint. I mixed pure pigments with water or encaustic medium or applied them directly to create celestial compositions of colors. Throughout the year, my work became simplified. I let myself go, scattering handfuls of pleasures across surfaces. It has been liberating to let particles of pigment direct the topography of the resulting work.

I’ve also explored the whimsical possibilities of installations, joining materials from the cultures of construction, craft, and play to create hanging sculptures. These immersive forms reveal the armature of their own making and invite us inside to question our expectations about reality.

I hope that experiencing familiar impulses in new surroundings will educate our emotions and influence a comprehensive reconsideration of how we treat the world, each other, and ourselves.