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2017 Artists
  Grimaldi Baez
  Leah Bailis
  Marc Blumthal
  Julianna Foster
  Alexis Nutini
  Lucia Thomé
 
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  Studio Visit with Grimaldi Baez
   
 

From a dimly lit hallway in the Amber Street studio building in NE Philly, CSA organizers Mary Smull, Mike Konrad, and Ephraim Russell emerged into Grimaldi Baez’s workshop studio -- welcomed by his experimental maps, drawing machines, and collections of carefully selected detritus mined from the streets and alleys of Philadelphia.

Grimaldi is a collector things, a keen observer and record keeper of his environment. He is a new urban cartographer whose printed maps and performative drawing machines re-think the boundaries of drawing and printmaking, as well as the boundaries of the places he explores.

In our discussion about the print in development for his CSA edition, Grimaldi elaborated on the relationship between his print and his larger studio practice:

“The print is a proof of case drawn from the same system and is informed by all my work and the drama of the labor. My studio is a big hive of activity and the print is a way to convey a piece of that practice; it becomes a document of the whole system of things”


Starting with a roll of the dice, literally, Grimaldi is guided to a place of exploration in the city where he begins development of a particular collection, which is currently wire or string and small objects that can be bound. The string then becomes the impetus for the development of a tool that is then, in turn, used to develop a drawing.
 

Starting from chance, all of the components of his work are interrelated:

“I make maps and then I go walk them and collect stuff. From those accumulations I make little machines that make sculptures from the stuff that I’m finding through my observations, while I’m walking around. There are different kinds of trash you can pick up, everything from shoes, to teddy bears, to needles, whatever you’re looking for… It’s kind of maddening, so I look for particular things like string and things that can be bound by that string. I’m collecting only string, only wire, and only sections of rope, and other things that can be bound by them. I bring them back to the studio, and then repeat. Which lead to a building a little wrapping machine…”

 
 

 

Using a process of repetition and chance, his found objects and materials are developed into sophisticated tools and maps that ascribe to an abstract, cyclical, discursive methodology that seems to have roots in the geological field trips and drawings of Smithson, overlaid with the chance operations of an elusive Fluxist investigation, to develop new maps of the city.


For his highly anticipated CSA project, Grimaldi is developing a woodblock print edition inspired by his theoretical maps, mechanical drawings, collections of materials, and explorations of the city.
-- Ephraim Russell, 2017 Community Supported Art Organizer
-- Photos by Mike Konrad and Jaime Alvarez, 2017 Community Supported Art Organizers
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Community Supported Art is program of Grizzly Grizzly and Co.
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