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.
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.
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,"
His photography was a natural extension of this
"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
"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."
In addition to the human form, the shape of tree limbs as they
fork off and twist away from a tree trunk inspire Bryan.
"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
"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,
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."