Creative Options in Contemporary Art: Prophet, Trickster, Mentor, Saint, Raver, Runt by Linda Weintraub-book excerpt courtesy the author-2000




Scott Grieger is not one to chase around his psyche grabbing after inspirations. His muse neither soars on fancies nor wallows in emotions. Instead, she urges her master to walk through life wearing ordinary sensibilities and encountering ordinary experiences. Grieger's creative process is conducted from a worldly vantage point because he is an image-collector more than an image-inventor. Indeed, he is recognized as a connoisseur of images, even though his most prized specimens are typically ignored by those trained to scrutinize art for aesthetic pleasure, insight, and wisdom. This is because Grieger doesn't collect art. He specializes in pre-existing emblems of significance that he discovers by inspecting supermarket shelves, billboards, computer screens, T-shirts, sneakers, caps, backpacks, toys, games, television ads, sports, and packaging.

Out of the surfeit that gushes through the turbulent rapids of today's supersaturated image-stream, his astute sensibilities identify those that most agitate this visual torrent. These few constitute the ingredients of his art. Grieger takes these aspects of the raging flood, dams them up and rechannels them deep into the culture's collective unconscious. He brainwashes his audience in reverse, cleansing their indoctrinated minds and purging the forces that hold dominion there.

But his self-appointed mission exceeds clearing his viewer's mental slates. Grieger hangs around to inscribe his own versions of these images, capitalizing on their power to alter attitudes. By installing responsible and ethical thoughts where frivolous mental habits existed, he sublimates the subliminal. The effects of the unrelenting assault of political and corporate propaganda are thereby dislodged. This deep mind work is always initiated by something external. Grieger discovers it on the sidewalk, from the car, over the internet, inside the mall. Grieger harvests the most pervasive logos and icons because they are potent attitude-benders and opinion-modifiers.

These simple, flat, monochromatic shapes constitute our culture's collective language. Their meanings are absorbed without instruction or practice. Like uninvited intruders, they infiltrate our psyches to confuse the difference between thoughts that are externally inculcated from those that are self-induced. These images amass the power of catalytic converters by representing such complex subjects as corporate structures, advertising ploys, business practices, class distinctions, ecological responsibility, gender identities, and social values. Furthermore, Grieger prefers common images from the cultural landscape because they are inescapable. Loaded images are Grieger's raw material. He changes their appearance, which changes their meaning, which changes consciousness, which corrects the ills of society.