T.J. Griffin Artist statement 2016

 My current artwork is based off a made-up world. I use this world and its inhabitants to express my personal experiences with in the real world. I am an observer. As I absorb experiences in life, I relay them through art.  I am constantly exploring my imagination. My artwork explores intellectual, spiritual, and psychological aspects of our world. I break down these aspects into a symbolic form. Using symbols from the ceremonial traditions throughout humanity; I express my feelings and observations in a more simplistic from. Masks, other tribal traditions and spirituality have a strong influence on my art.

I use these and other influential elements as a way of creating a more perfect world. Simplicity in knowledge and understanding of our connection to the universe.  Seeing beauty in the everyday, in the most simplistic of expressions and objects. Appreciating life in a way like Buddhism. Taking nothing for granted while being aware of the energy that exists within everything.  People and creatures appear cute yet creepy, content yet sad. Living in a state of melancholy, while simultaneously being highly aware and appreciative of the world around them. They are a more natural people, connected to the natural world which includes that which we do not understand. The lack of excitement is not due to depression; It is based off knowledge, calmness and the feeling of being content with the laws of nature. Just like in any world, nothing is perfect. Sadness does exist. You cannot have intelligence without sadness.

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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