Grant Stoops

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Artist Statement

I make paintings of distorted, melted and disordered human creatures. My process involves a number of different mediums. Before becoming a painting, the sculptural forms are created in a wax based clay using heated metal tools, arranged in several positions under a variety of lighting sources, and digitally composed into a diorama-like space. The basis for the paintings are the digital files as well as the original sculptures. The translation across many mediums is intended to erode all obvious reference to reality while rendering an alternate world in high detail.

The work is to generate a pocket universe populated by varied characters- clown-faced dreamers, glowing ooze homunculi, wotanistic heralds and ruggedly muscular oafs, whose personalities are all defined in hindsight of their jagged formation.

The watery abyss referenced in the opening lines of the book of Genesis (and later weaponized in the book of Noah) is the same watery abyss recorded in the creation myths of the older Egyptian, Canaanite and Babylonian religions. Known to the Egyptians as Nun, these waters sat churning in an imponderable infinitude below God, who in some versions of the tale hovered there for some unknown interval before acting on who-knows-what kind of impulse and creating the universe. These two clowny guys were there too, and in my painting of the scene, one of the clowns bends over and touches the Nun.

Some of the paintings are less theological in scope- in one of the largest and most recent paintings some jerky, athletic figure wrestles in the moonlight with any and all comers, like some smirking, jerky Hercules wrestling the Nemean lion that Rubens and so many other painters have portrayed, back when subject matter for painting was a little more constrained.  A few other paintings are strictly portraits- in one, a clown finding himself in a blank state, his expression remains impossibly fixed on surprise and joy. His broad and muscular body is an assemblage of wet, half-formed and hardly functional components. His counterpart glows in the dark, which is probably a little more hopeful. In the peril of a pitch black nothingness that lasts forever it can only be hoped that some kind of internal light remains inextinguishable, even in a guy that dumb looking.



2007 School of Visual Arts, New York
2006 AICAD, New York Studio Program, New York, New York


WORK, Miller Misc. Projects, New York, NY
Greenpoint Open Studios, Brooklyn
NYSP Alumni Dumbo Art Walk, Brooklyn
Behind the Curtain” Mark Miller Gallery, NYC
MISSION CREEP Big Irvs Gallery, Brooklyn
Recent Paintings Big Irvs Gallery, Brooklyn
10 Java st collective, Brooklyn
950 Hart Gallery, Brooklyn
Bushwick Open Studios, Brooklyn
Bushwick Project for the Arts, Brooklyn
Thesis exhibition, School of Visual Arts, NYC
Thesis exhibition AICAD New York Studio Program, Brooklyn


David Bown Projects Semiannual Competition
Stacey Sussman Cavrell Traveling Scholarship