The artwork of
Cliff Grigg evokes a narrative from a deeply philosophical core of the artist.
The paintings leading up to his exhibition
are compiled from the continuous dialogue and themes around urban
construction, panoramas and scenes that we all take for granted. City sky-scapes bestow
a radiance, reflections, and
hints of harmonic lights and grids.
Although he describes his work as neo-impressionist the viewer is
content in it’s apparent contemporary overlay. Cliff’s first oil paintings were landscapes
painted from life in the bush outside of Armidale NSW. He moved to Sydney in 1979 to study art at
Alexander Mackie CAE. Cliff was fortunate
to have well known tutors, painters Alun Leach Jones and Graham Kuo but both
had very different painting and teaching styles. Graham Kuo’s flowing and loose
shapes compared with Alun Leach Jones straight and hard edged outlines were
techniques in opposition. Cliff Grigg’s eclectic journey has been
complemented by involvement in the music industry which has further enhanced
and inspired his cumulative themes. For 10 years Cliff focused on a career as a
professional musician with Sydney reggae-rock band Spy v Spy. He was fortunate
to visit international cities and be exposed to different cultures around the
chance meeting in the 90’s with
Brett Whiteley changed everything. Whiteley told Cliff he played their
music repeatedly while he painted because it inspired him to conceive some
“large orange pieces”, and said there was an “orange energy in their music”.
This was the greatest compliment Cliff had received from an artist and this
event became a turning point in re-igniting Cliff’s interest in painting.
Inspired by an artistic sojourn in
Italy his ‘sfumato’ (dry brush technique
and ‘chiaroscruro’, technique where he draws the whole image without colour,
drawing towards the light from the shadow in the work creates a dream like
quality , modern architecture is transformed
into a purer resemblance. The artworks’
terminology are composed from
renaissance scriptures adding a mystique to the works.