About the Artist
Originally from the small town of Union City Oklahoma, T.J. Griffin moved to the Dallas area in 2004. His work has been shown since 2007. In 2008 he received the DeGolyer Awards to Artists grant from the Dallas Museum of Art.
T.J. graduated with his Bachelor in Art and Performance from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2008 and continued on to receive his MFA in 2010. T.J. had his first solo show in 2010 at the University of Texas at Dallas. While working on his PhD in Aesthetic Studies at The University of Texas Dallas, he has begun doing research on identity, superheroes, and masks.
He has been accepted into numerous juried shows, including The Rising Eyes of Texas in Rockport, Texas, where he received the second place award. In 2011, his work was accepted into the juried art expo at 500x gallery in Dallas, Texas and the annual No Dead Artists exhibit, a national juried show at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans, LA. His work was featured in three group shows with Ro2 Art in 2011
My artwork is an examination of my imagination, given life from the most simplistic form of motion. My inspiration comes from my experiences in life. This current body of work is a continuation of my book Existence. Further exploring the ideas of life, love, death, and psychology. Focusing on empathy, connection, and our lack of understanding of existence. As I make my way through the day I cannot help but feel the emotions of others. An expression in someone’s face, combined with the smell and sound of the winds blowing by, stick with me becoming more vivid and bright as it forms in my memory. This combination of senses is best expressed in the visual form.
I see my characters as being from another world or parallel universe. Obscure proportions, big bold eyes, and a stripe for a nose. They are not quite human but still familiar. They are more than portraits of a person; they are portraits of feelings and emotions. They are the translation of my experiences filtered through my imagination. I use a stripe on the face as a metaphor for the psychological masks people wear every day. I feel the masks we all wear inhibit connection and if we could remove these masks our connections would burn brighter. My focus is to grow and explore this universe that exists in my mind.
I constantly sketch out ideas. Through a combination of processes, I give life to my visions. Letting go of control and allowing for chance creates a skeleton for my mind to build upon. From here I render out the shapes and forms allowing my imagination to take control. Intention and chance collide to form my artwork.
I enjoy painting in a process. I combine gestural impressionism with rendering of figuration. My work is very narrative; every piece has its own story. My painting style is ever evolving. I refuse to limit myself in medium. I like exploring every aspect of creation. My most recent works have been bright in color, with elements of movement and vibration. I like to capture an energy within the environment, a pulsing of connection. My style is very influenced by animation and illustration. I have always been drawn to this style; it seems more natural to my creative process. I take influence from art throughout time and history. I find connection with the most simplistic to the most complex. I combine elements from pre-civilization to modern man.
Some of my favorite contemporary artist are Gregory Crewdson, David Hockney and Takashi Murakami. The sophistication of style and narration of these artists are some of the things I push to achieve with my own artwork. The story telling of Crewdson, fused with the simplicity and composition of Hockney, combined with the pop surreal imagery of Murakami are some ofthe elements I have absorbed to create my own visual language.
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