Grant Garmezy grew up on a farm in Tennessee. That accounts for his figurative work with glass. He wrote, in his statement, about fossilizing particular memories and using glass to create unique forms that have a familiarity with daily life. Garmezy's work is an interesting blend of abstract with figurative - when viewing his work, it appears to be an obvious representation of something that you know and need to make sure you know, until you get up close and wonder, "What in the world did I think this was?" He joins the wave of young artists who tread the cusp of figurative and abstract work with formidable technique in a variety of media addressing the vernacular of common culture. A couple of days ago, I wrote about Ned Cantrell's work in this regard. Similarly, Garmezy's work hints of common culture, but it doesn't address my daily life, because I didn't grown up in the country (did you?). Instead, his work compels that second look, often several more, because the forms are so lifelike and possess a certain sad sweetness. Garmezy's work is hot, sculpted from the inside, occasionally manipulated in a kiln after the original sculpting is rendered. It takes a lot of work, a lot of friends (he just graduated from school), and a lot of physical strength and balance to create work of this kind - and all to good effect, as he was notably awarded the RSA Benno Scholz Prize for most promising sculptor in the U.K. Garmezy won awards and scholarships galore - deservedly, his work possesses classic reference to sculpture with respectable technical mastery of the special qualities unique to glass based on his particular memories of time and place. On a personal note, he honored us with a visit on the opening night of his debut at COLD+HOT 2008. A 21st century version of a young Southern gentleman, he was informative, kind and polite to all inquiries about his work and technique at the opening.
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