J u n e   2 0 0 3

Amy BuchheitSketch Pad

Bryan Grimes
Relationship implied
by Kathy Anderson

ryan Grimes is a real, live Oregon native. He grew up in Eugene and Salem, graduated from Western Oregon University and now lives in Southeast Portland – where he creates his unique art by combining abstract sculptures with photographs of nudes. Friends and hired art models pose for him, but if you're interested, check out his Web site then send him an e-mail.

Modern math
To Bryan Grimes, a single, stand-alone object looks lonely – which is why most of his sculpture involves the intertwining of two or more pieces.

"TOT-G:1 Configuration #1" ("TOT-G" stands for "toothpicks of the gods")

"By joining two pieces, the possibility of an implied relationship between the parts becomes apparent," he said.

His photography was a natural extension of this idea.

"I simply use the human body as another sculpture to play with," he said. "My forms do sometimes look like bones, so there is an organic reference, but I also like to leave some parts very geometric for contrast."

Bryan describes his approach to sculpting as additive, building up the volume and space that will become the finished form.

"There are basically two approaches," he said, "additive and subtractive. Michelangelo was a subtractive sculptor, revealing the form in a block by removing the excess pieces. My work is just the opposite."

Into the woods
Bryan works with beautiful domestic and exotic hardwoods. By using kiln-dried boards he can avoid the shrinking, warping and cracking that would otherwise naturally occur.


"The first stage requires larger shop equipment, such as a table saw, band saw and radial arm saw," he said. "The fine-tuning stage requires smaller tools, like chisels, files, grinders and palm sanders."

For his photography, Bryan uses only black-and-white, 35mm film. To his eye, a black-and-white photo looks like a work of art, whereas color is a snapshot.

"I believe the photographs express more directly how I feel about the wood sculpture," he said. "There is a sensual aspect to my work that echoes nicely with the nude."

Trunk show
In addition to the human form, the shape of tree limbs as they fork off and twist away from a tree trunk inspire Bryan.

"M.E. Bouquet #2"

"Often, in the initial design phase, my inspiration comes from randomly trying out different forms and then pushing them further when they seem to be going somewhere," he said.

Bryan doesn't know of any other artist who creates works that look like his. He does, however, admire Henry Moore's work.

"Moore gave a heightened awareness to empty, negative spaces within sculpture," he said. "And much of his work also seems to reflect the aesthetic quality of bones."

Keeping the faith
As a child drawing on paper placemats in restaurants, Bryan knew he would grow up to be an artist.

He took some art classes in high school, but college is where he developed an interest in sculpture.

"My sculpture professor encouraged me to really explore my own ideas in depth," he said. "I didn't pursue photography seriously until after college."


Bryan is represented by Belinki and Duprey Gallery in Portland and by the Gallery at Salishan on the coast.

This month he's exhibiting a piece in the Lake Oswego Visual Chronicle at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, and one of his photographs is at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, Pa.

Several of Bryan's sculptures will be displayed in a Feb.-March 2004 show at Artlink in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Bryan has absolute faith in his ability to take his artwork as far as he wants to go.

"I feel honored," he said, "to be able to devote my life to pursuing my passion."

E-mail Bryan at PORTGRIMES@aol.com, and check out his Web site. Reach Kathy at kanderson138@attbi.com, and draw on other Sketch Pads.

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