Illustrator opens the eyes (and minds) to everyday intricacies

Pen-and-ink artwork conducts study in the minutiae of life

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With paradoxically maddening and soothing illustrations, Jeremy Grand, who debuted his exhibit at the Bay Area Friends of Fine Arts Gallery at the Gillette House in Sayville, on Friday, Aug. 5, captures the intricacies of the world along with its rarified individuality amongst a monolithic presentation.

“When I first laid eyes on Jeremy’s artwork, I thought, ‘Wow, that is really amazing in detail,’” said BAFFA gallery manager Jeanette Leonard. Grand’s is her first show since being appointed as gallery manager.

She added, “When I looked closer, I saw the humor, I saw the quirkiness, and sometimes, just a hint of darkness. Each time you look at one of his pieces, you see something that you didn’t see the first time. It surprises you.”

The pen-and-ink illustrations, depending on the complexity of the piece, can take anywhere from a couple of weeks up to a few months. In terms of hours, Grand spends 40 to 60 hours on each piece.

The majority of artwork is executed on 18x24 paper, although Grand said he would like to work on a larger scale in the future.

Influenced by the likes of Edward Gorey, Shel Silverstein, and M.C. Escher, Grand said, “[I] was always drawn to the etching and printmaking styles with little to no shading, and the creation of depth with simple lines.”

Grand also hopes to bring levity to art and said, “I hope the community can see my art and come to the realization that not all art has to be stuffy, abstract, send a political message, and can be accessible to anybody. I make work that can be lived in, where anytime you look at it there is something new to be found. It has replay value and humor.”

Pieces such as “The Gardener,” “The Librarian,” and one of a 1980s video store that Grand is currently working, on were aided by the input of the public.

Central to Grand’s success in art and the distribution of his work is his husband, Damien Monaco, who runs his website, which also features some of his work.

“I make work that is fun, and that I want to make and enjoy making and looking at, and hope others can feel the same about it. Art is one of the great connectors of life and conversation starters; people need to talk to each other more and I feel that my art inspires coming to a place of mutual understanding,” said Grand.

Grand and his artwork will be on display at the BAFFA Art Gallery at the Gillette House on Saturdays between 12 and 2 for all of August.

Additionally, more of his pieces are on his Instagram handles: @oddhandshop and @jgrand42

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