As an interior designer I’m constantly searching for exciting new art and artisans. Last February I was thrilled to be included in @60 Inches Get the Look which included my New York City apartment and a selection of works featured on the site. I included the work of New York City based artist Edward Granger not really knowing anything about him, but I was drawn to the exuberant playfulness of his Crayon series.
Later, as I was clicking away, lost in one of my Instagram k-holes, I stumbled upon Granger’s work once again, and immediately struck up a dialogue with him.
We soon met over a few martinis and burgers at my favorite little hang-out, Blue Smoke. I love to hear life stories, especially ones as inspirational as Granger’s. A native of Louisiana he describes himself as a “sauvage.” As a young boy he was always drawing, creating, and getting into a bit of trouble. Later he was able to channel this energy into more productive time attending a high school art academy. He later attended the University of Louisiana and majored in architecture, which Granger describes as being immersed in a “soup of creativity.” However, upon graduating and working for a few architecture firms he became frustrated with the lack of creative expression that the employ offered him. This led to a return to painting. Broke, with barely enough money to buy paint, he confides that he actually – we’ll call it – “liberated” paint and other supplies, and utilized found objects and whatever he could get his hands on to produce his work. He was very quickly picked up by the Sibley Gallery specializing in works of emerging artists.
With an otherwise complete lack of support from family, etc., he pressed on, actually supporting himself through the sale of his paintings. Granger had an innate sense of the importance of social media to get his work out to a larger audience and very cleverly used it to his full advantage – a bit of sex appeal can go a long way – he soon had fans around the world and started to sell to New York collectors.
At some point during all of this, a major New Orleans gallery essentially told him that he had no talent and that he should give up any hope of a career in the arts. Quite hurt by this, he kept pushing on and made his way to New York City. A few modeling gigs helped to bring in much needed cash as well as a growing list of patrons. He also connected with an artist’s agent who has been extremely helpful in securing him some rather large commissions as well as sales of his work.
“My very first drawings in architecture school were always precise and geometric,” Granger explains. He incorporated this, combined with lessons in “geometric theory.” to produce iterations of a square divided into four equal parts, each containing one of the four basic types of lines (vertical, horizontal, diagonal left, and diagonal right). This then draws a larger awareness of the flow and allowed the viewer to create his or her own storyline within this ‘geometric wonderland,” as Granger likes to call his spaces.
His dynamic crayon series were created in multiples of three. “These pieces were titled ‘Come fly away…’ because they all portrayed a sense of playful optimism, and an insightful discovery into a whole new realm of my style rather than being based upon a direct correlation of passionate or arresting thoughts.”
These mosaics are a smorgasbord for the senses; full of the raised texture of shaved crayons, and the nostalgia of smell and the vibrant colors we all came to know and love as children. “I never have a drawn out thinking process, I never draw with a line, I just use a kind of curvy organic motion. The next line tells you where it wants to go, and if there’s an empty space I fill it. It creates its own path and tells me what it wants to do – I don’t like to dictate my work because that makes it feel forced,” Granger emphasizes.
We love to bring you stories like Granger’s – his passion and steadfastness, his belief in himself and courage to pursue his dreams are all elements that inspire.
He fantasizes about creating large scale installations in the spirit of a James Turrell. Needless to say, we here at WIJW are encouraging him to dream BIG! In the meantime, I’m placing several of Granger’s works with clients as well as proposing a mural for a potential Miami project all executed in shades of sand and abalone shell.
For our lovely and louche photo (top), I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci navy velvet jacket, slate blue wool cashmere flannel pants, brown leather belt and brown suede tasseled loafers all by Tom Ford, Turnbull and Asser red and white striped cotton shirt with contrast white collar and cuffs, vintage pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, Rolex, Etro silk paisley scarf worn as ascot, navy and white silk min dot pocket square from Batistoni and my fragrance is Tom Ford Oud