Cutting the Edge: The Art of Grebniew Kaz
Zak Weinberg • May 25, 2016 • Art •
When I first went to school at Florida State University, I initially wanted to be a tattoo artist. After taking my first art foundations courses, I soon realized that I was actually pretty terrible at drawing. As someone who always built things when I was young, and was interested in construction from an early age, I picked up sculpture pretty quickly. I had been fascinated with the music festival scene for a while at this point, and had always dreamed of creating large scale installations, similar to those at Burning Man.
I started looking into double majoring in architecture, when my school came out with a specialized program for public art/architectural art. There, I learned the ins and outs of large scale public installation, and got a job working for a local fabrication studio. Through this time, I gained experience in all forms of sculpture: mold making and casting, kiln-forming glass, ceramics, woodworking, masonry, foundry, and more.
In the midst of all of this, I learned that my school had a fabrication lab, in which I could access and use laser cutter machines and 3D printers. I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity, but never did I think I would focus my whole art creation through processes of machine fabrication. I soon found myself in what I like to call “a loving, open relationship with two laser cutter machines.”
I have been developing a process and style of creating sculpture working with these machines. It all started one day when I was just messing around in Adobe Illustrator, playing with geometric forms and how they intersect in layers. I was surprised at how well these designs worked, and wanted to see how they translated in physical materials. The results of this sparked an obsession with experimentation to see how far I could push these forms. I started looking back upon my research and interest in architectural design, cultural ornamentation and motif, as well as geometric patterning.
I have now spent countless hours staring at my computer screen, often going cross-eyed, and developing these designs and processes. I feel my most recent work is finally starting to approach what I am hoping to ultimately achieve. Each piece reveals something new though: a different approach to create depth, or ways to intersect patterns. I know that as I continue with this work, it will only further prove the endless possibilities of working with modern technology and fabrication techniques.
I draw a lot of inspiration from architecture, cultural patterns and motif, geometric design, and the modern visionary art movement. There is definitely an overarching theme to my work, but the approach can vary depending on what I am working on. Sometimes, I will have an architectural design in mind, such as Moroccan ornamentation, and I will base my composition off of that. Other times, I will work autonomously, abstracting different forms and patterns, letting the designs build off one another, and just see what happens. If I had to sum up the intention of my work, it would be abstract, architectural, geometric, futuristic, machine-fabricated relief sculpture.
Along with being a practicing gallery artist in the fine arts world, the overall goal I am hoping to achieve is to work in the public sphere, creating interior and exterior architecture, as well as landscape architectural communal spaces that promote unity and sustainability. Once I finish my degree, I plan to seek public art commissions and start pushing the scale and materials of my work to translate more into the public realm. Ultimately, I want to work with communities around the world helping to build permaculture ideals through art practices.
If one looks upon ancient and historical civilizations, they can see that the epicenters of these societies (cathedrals, temples, mosques) were some of the most highly ornate and intricately designed. These spaces provided the community center for open congregation and sharing of ideas, ritual, and worship. It is arguable that when one enters these spaces there is a sort of resonance and uplifting energy. This is what I am hoping to achieve through my work, in a modern sense. I strive to carry the same intention of my predecessors, without the restriction of cultural or religious identity, and bridge a unified, world community.
Art is everywhere, and can be perceived as almost everything. Art can be visual, literary, musical, culinary, or comedic. Anywhere from a web designer writing code, to a martial arts master teaching his pupils. I believe that art is what drives a culture. It provides an avenue for freedom and expression of ideas and perception, and creates a sense of identity for a person, a community, or a whole country. It’s quite obvious that without art in all its forms, our world would be a very dull place. We as humans, who are constantly searching for answers and meaning for our existence, need art to express ourselves in ways that we don’t even understand.
All of our technological advancements, our industries, our society as a whole, is where it is because of innovators and dreamers. If you’re going to do something that you feel is a worthwhile endeavor, that you do wholeheartedly, others will pick up on it and resonate with it. Nothing comes easy, it takes years of dedication, struggle, failure, reflection, and growth to truly make something incredible. As long as you are happy, and enjoy what you do, that’s what really matters. Not everyone is going to change the world, but if you can live your life positively, explore and express with the world around you, and even make a difference in one person’s life in the most minuscule way, that is art.The Art of Zak Weinberg