JASON GRINGLER STUDIO VISIT

Jason’s light-flooded studio is a conducive testing ground for his work. Using industrial materials that include plexiglass, aluminum, mirrored glass, and spray paint; he experiments with abstraction and changing perspective. Take a peep at Jason’s studio and get an inside look at his practice.

1. In your work it is important to point out that the glass and acrylic are not broken randomly, people often wonder how these pieces are made. Can you elaborate on the importance of control in your work? 

My materials are industrial, and mainly sourced from hardware stores and occasionally salvaged from the street or from friends. The work typically consists of acrylic glass, shattered glass, epoxy, silicone, caulking, spray enamel, vinyl, steel, paint and aluminum tape. Occasionally I use foam, paper and photographs. Generally speaking, I approach my work referencing the history and trajectory of painting but I try to avoid many of its material associations.  I have always found myself drawn to painting as an object to study and experience, but never found my hand or my mark to be of any substance. Using industrial materials as a means to approach painting has many limitations. It is through those limitations that I have produced a fairly large body of work using a distinct language.  

My work is very meticulous. The only chance lies in the initial stages where the work is assembled face down on the studio floor and layered acrylic glass, epoxy and other materials are applied. The work is not moved during the primary stage as I am consciously forcing elements of chance in to my work. Once the work is lifted on to the wall, I layer forward thinking about the different ways light and paint affect layers of glass; similar to the way one can assemble an image using Photoshop, but also, in a sense, similar to classical painting techniques where glazing is used to create a source of light and depth. 

2. In terms of production, each piece is very time intensive and the materials you use are somewhat unforgiving. How do these limitations affect experimentation?

Photography and Photoshop are the most interesting mediums I utilize for experimentation.  I think about taking photos with the same immediacy as drawing.  Navigating space, light and composition affect my output once back in the studio.  I do tend to shoot the ephemera in my workspace as an aid to decision-making with the Plexiglas works.

In order to experiment I try to focus on the fact that each failed attempt can be recycled as well as swept in to the overall material expenses of running a studio. 

3. How has this process facilitated the evolution of your body of work?

Plexiglas is glued together using Plexiweld.  It binds the material together at a molecular level.  After an hour or so it is nearly impossible to remove.  My works are constructed this way including other materials built in over time.  If the work is not successful on the first try, I generally kick the glass and other materials out of the steel frame.  Through this process, the simulacrum of expression becomes actualized and I have something between dilapidation and intention.  Those materials can be reused in a future work at the starting point.  As I get older, the destructive part of my practice is waning and is used as a last resort decision. 

4. Why is there a punching bag in your studio?

The heavy bag relates directly to the statement above.  It was a move I made to minimize my destructive tendencies.  It saves time and energy while also keeping me moving around in the studio.  I try not to have a sedentary practice.

5. How does this particular studio space lend itself the work you create?

The light in my space is diffused and pleasant.  I try to work during daylight hours to utilize the transparency in the layers of glass and epoxy.  This is inconsistent with my natural late night schedule, however I feel it benefits the work.

6. Your work is far from static. Movement plays a major role in the viewer’s experience, why is this important?

My work has changed slowly over the years. I initially engaged with a more traditional and emotional approach to painting production. The work has become increasingly industrial and I have slowly been stripping away unnecessary elements. I have an increasing interest in painting as sculpture and I think my current use of specific materials alludes to that interest. Recently I produced large leaning works that sit comfortably between those two genres. These pieces still use the same kind of materials, but a larger emphasis is placed on the reflective nature of those materials. The works are 7 feet tall and relate directly to my body. I want to incorporate the architecture of the space where the work is situated and of course, the reflection of the viewer is inevitable. In this sense, the work becomes unstable and the subject changes as a viewer moves around the work. Producing work that is cinematic or somewhat kinetic has been a thread in my work for many years, but I only feel comfortable now to let that quality have equal importance with composition and form.

7. Do you have any shows/new work/exciting plans on the horizon?

I have a number of upcoming projects in Europe I am excited about, however, I don't want to disclose the information until all is solidified.  I would like to be more active in the US in 2015.

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8. What inspires you?

Very difficult question to answer.  I think nuances in material, texture and reflection have led to my most exciting studio output.