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Lee Grantham (B.1953, American) creates acrylic on Plexiglass paintings, which requires the artist to paint in reverse. By mastering this difficult technique, Grantham brings an astounding amount of depth to his artwork, while incorporating a level of his own style of imagery. Grantham's unique visual language is energetic, nostalgic, and obsessive, as he stylizes his vision of Pop Culture from the 50s to the 80s to present day. Based in Milwaukee, Grantham bends the Midwest’s tradition of imagery with his own notions of surrealism. The results are loaded with slaps of color and wild shapes, merging art historic images with kitsch, making it impossible to talk about without referencing both contemporary movements and children’s TV shows.
“His work is inspired by the Chicago Imagist scene but he has his own voice that comes through,” says Maloof. “The colorful pattern designs are reminiscent of the Memphis Milano movement that originated out of Milan Italy that is back in style — think ‘PeeWee’s Playhouse.’ His surreal use of imagery and symbolism could also be inspired by Dali and Magritte.”
Grantham’s engagement with the material also adds another layer of depth.
“The work is skillfully constructed by painting on the back of plexiglass in reverse, and he includes the intricately painted frame as part of the work itself,” Maloof says.
Simultaneously, Grantham is also out to have a really good time, according to Maloof.
“If you notice a vacuum cleaner in several of his paintings, that’s ‘just because,’ ” he says. “I think that’s an element of Grantham not taking himself too seriously while also crafting strong work.”
30 5/8" x 36 5/8" x 2"